William Dunlap’s Leicester; or, the Migration of Gothic Drama
José Manuel Correoso-Rodenas

It is needless to say that Gothic has been (and still is) one of the most successful and fruitful literary movements ever developed in the Western Hemisphere. Lesser know is that it had its dramatic counterpart, a much less profitable subgenre, although cultivated by the leading authors that had enthroned gothic novels. The main objective of this article is to show how William Dunlap, the so-called father of American drama adapted the European conventions for the Gothic and rewrote them in the newly born United States. Through his tragedy Leicester (1807), it will be seen how Dunlap was both an inheritor of dramatic previous traditions (like Shakespeare’s tragedies) and of Gothic (both novel and drama), as his relation with Charles Brockden Brown stated. This play (among others Dunlap wrote) proves how the genre “migrated” from European soil to America, as it had previously happened with narrations, generating a new tradition which lasts until the present day.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v8n2a4