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Revenant Narratives and the Representation of Demonic Lovers in English Gothic Ballads

posted on Jul 11, 2021
By Maggie E. Sadler - The Demon-Lover functions as a significant motif in English Gothic ballad tradition, which scholar Hugh Shields articulates as a “supernatural intrusion into a narrative which is of this world” (Shields p. 107). While this intrusion implies the violent and problematic sexual dynamics of the Demon-Lover Motif, Shields’s statement also speaks to how writers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries capitalized on the popularity of Gothic conventions such as horror and the grotesque supernatural to imperfectly resurrect the declining literary traditions of folklore and...

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