Tim Burton and Johnny Depp: Inspired by Dark Romantic Literature

Resources for this unit are linked below:

Gothic, Dark Romantic, and Anti-Transcendentalist Introduction:


Article on Gothic Literature

Gothic Notes Worksheet

Nathaniel Hawthorne Power Point

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Drawing Inferences

Context Clues

Sample Business Letter


Veil Project

Vocabulary Development

Vocabulary Practice


Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Poe Bio film

The Spanish Inquisition


Symbol Logs

Guided Reading for The Pit and the Pendulum

Responding to Poe Film

Cultural Symbolism of The Raven

Christopher Walken reading of The Raven

Final Unit Project requirements

Tim Burton: Modern Dark Romantic

Final Project Sample 1

Final Project Sample 2

Featured Authors:

Edgar Allan Poe


Most people recognize Poe by his famous poem, "The Raven". Others may have read one of his more popular dark and creepy tales like, "The Fall of the House of Usher" or "The Tell-tale Heart". Poe wrote quite a few gothic stories about murder, revenge, torture, the plague, being buried alive, and insanity. Many modern books and movies have "borrowed" ideas from Poe. Some of Poe's stories were not well accepted in his day because people were just not ready for them- they were too scary.

Poe’s psychologically thrilling tales examining the depths of the human psyche earned him much fame during his lifetime and after his death. His own life was marred by tragedy at an early age (his parents died before he was three years old) and in his oft-quoted works we can see his darkly passionate sensibilities—a tormented and sometimes neurotic obsession with death and violence and overall appreciation for the beautiful yet tragic mysteries of life. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.—“Elonora”. Poe’s literary criticisms of poetry and the art of short story writing include “The Poetic Principal” and “The Philosophy of Composition”. There have been numerous collections of his works published and many of them have been inspiration for popular television and film adaptations including “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Black Cat”, and “The Raven”. He has been the subject of numerous biographers and has significantly influenced many other authors even into the 21st Century.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Novelist and short story writer, a central figure in the American Renaissance. Nathaniel Hawthorne's best-known works include THE SCARLET LETTER (1850) and THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES (1851). Like Edgar Allan Poe, Hawthorne took a dark view of human nature.

Hawthorne became one of the leading writers of his time, moving away from formalism and exploring the ideas of individual responsibility, the importance of creative expression and man’s relationship to the natural world. He also at times delves into the mysterious and disturbing; in the depths of every heart there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners whom they hide. But sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, these dark receptacles are flung wide open. In an hour like his....pray that your griefs may slumber. “The Haunted Mind”.