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Gothic Masculinity: An Exploration of Masculinity in The Mysteries of Udolpho and Uncle Silas


  • Tobias Norén

Summary, in English

By analysing two different Female Gothic novels, this thesis aims to explore the different ways in which masculinity is portrayed within the Female Gothic literary tradition, more specifically the Early Gothic and Victorian Gothic due to constraints in scope. The novels chosen, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and Uncle Silas (1864), are in many ways representative and serve as typical Female Gothic narratives but differ in when they were written and how they utilise gothic tropes to discuss and critique the society within which they were written. Given the relatively little research done on this topic within the time period chosen, relevant historical background is presented and discussed accordingly. Furthermore, concepts such as fatherhood, sensibility, the missing mother, villainy, and fallenness are discussed and subsequently applied on the novels so as to highlight different forms of masculinity and how they are portrayed in relation to each-other and the ideals considered dominant at the time of the novels’ release. By comparing the two novels, the Gothic’s role as a transgressive literary form becomes all the more clear as its portrayal of masculinity serves to problematize the oftentimes simplified view of masculinity as purely dominant. The commonly discussed troubled heroine is not the only one affected by the dominant ideals heralded by hegemonic masculinity.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Gothic
  • Masculinity
  • Female Gothic
  • Ann Radcliffe
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho
  • Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Uncle Silas
  • Sensibility
  • Fatherhood
  • Villainy
  • Fallenness
  • Fallen Man
  • Early Gothic
  • Victorian Gothic
  • 18th-century
  • 19th-century
  • Hegemonic Masculinity


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)