Added: June 29, 2013 – Last updated: May 7, 2016


Author: Stacy Affleckt

Title: Mythical Creatures

Subtitle: The Gothic/Romantic Evolution of the Pained Female Rape Victim

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Rutgers-The States University of New Jersey

Advisor: Geoffrey Sill

Year: 2013

Pages: ii + 69pp.

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 18th Century, 19th Century | European History: English History | Representations: Literary Texts / Henry Fielding, Matthew Lewis, Samuel Richardson, Percy Shelley


Link: RUcore: Rutgers University Community Repository (Free Access)


Abstract: »Rape myths have almost always had a place in literature. Yet, Gothic/Romantic works depicted new and shocking images of the female rape victim, with a particular emphasis on pain. Works like Matthew Lewis’ The Monk and Percy Shelley’s The Cenci break the stereotypical myths written about rape victims in works like Henry Fielding’s Rape upon Rape and Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. The transition from 18th century literature into Gothic/Romantic literature marked an evolution in sensibility, which led the reader to feel a stronger sense of sympathy for women and the rape victim by focusing on pain. Works that represented rape as humorous or harmless may have been provoked by socioeconomic changes, while works that showed the myths about rape to be fallacious advanced those same socioeconomic changes.« (Source: RUcore)


  Fielding and the Culture of Rape (p. 4)
  The Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries' Understanding of Sex and Corresponding Changing Societal Values (p. 10)
  Clarissa and the Counter-Culture of Rape Fiction (p. 15)
  The Gothic/Romantic Response to Rape Fiction (p. 27)
  Myth of Failed Courtship (p. 32)
  Blaming the Victim (p. 39)
  Rape as a Natural Occurrence in Society (p. 43)
  Myth of Safety in the Home (p. 49)
  Rape as a Death Sentence (p. 52)
  Pain Sensibility in Revolutionary Texts (p. 57)
  Changing Values (p. 63)
  Bibliography (p. 67)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of England / Early modern Britain | Literature: English literature | 18th-century English writers: Henry Fielding / Rape upon Rape; Matthew Lewis (writer): The Monk; Samuel Richardson: Clarissa | 19th-century English writers: Percy Bysshe Shelley / The Cenci