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The Gothic Features of Shelley’s the Cenci and Its Political Allusion

Author ChenJing
Tutor LiZeng
School Northeast Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Shelley The Cenci Gothic Genre Political Gothic
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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As the important English Romantic poet, Shelley’s poems enjoy the great reputation among people. However, his five-act poetic drama The Cenci receives less attention. In abroad, related researches are very few and merely concentrated on minor aspects. Domestically, systematic studies are even scarcer. In fact, The Cenci is of great value due to its remarkable literary characteristics. This thesis aims at defining the literary genre of The Cenci, thus penetrating Shelley’s political position conveying from the context.This thesis consists of five parts. The first part introduction provides a critical review of The Cenci both abroad and domestic, and then briefly explains the relationship between the Gothic Genre and The Cenci.Chapter One begins with the Romanticism’s influence on the Gothic Genre through aspects of society, philosophy and religion. As a great poet of this age, Shelley’s reception of the Gothic Genre and his motivation to The Cenci’s creation are also imprinted by his time.Chapter Two is an important part to judge the genre of The Cenci. In this part the Gothic elements lying in the character, scene and theme are collected and categorized, which are the evident proof to assert The Cenci’s Gothic Genre.Chapter Three focuses on the drama context to perceive its allusion to the contemporary British politics, and thus penetrates Shelley’s own political position which is implicitly expressed in The Cenci.The last part serves as the conclusion. It has summarized The Cenci’s remarkable Gothic elements in the character, the scene as well as the theme, and thus affirmed its Gothic Genre. Besides, the elaborated arrangement in this drama indicates Shelley’s deep consideration of social darkness and his unique creation as a work of art to indirectly convey his political intention.

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