Past, present, and future in the Gothic graveyard
in The Gothic and death
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This chapter examines the development of a Gothic aesthetic of mortality in Graveyard poetry that in turn provided a significant influence for later Gothic novels. In its reflective, psychologically complex subject matter, poetry provides rich material for Gothic, and the genre drew upon the work of the graveyard poets, including Gray, Young, Blair and Parnell. Not only are the aesthetics of graveyard poetry significant in the development of Gothic, but also the structures of Christianity which emphasise life after death. The locus of death provides a focal point where the poetic and the constructed self meet, uniting the rational and the sublime in contemplating the terrible and unknowable, replacing the pre-Reformation prayers for the dead with a Protestant contemplation of Heaven.

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