Extra-Textual Knowledge In 'Hannibal And Bates Motel'

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The role of extra textual knowledge, In the TV horror genre, focusing on the serial killer. Television shows can be sorted into different categories which have the same conventions and because of these it is possible for the audience to expect a certain style, or narrative. These categories are called genre. Extra-textual knowledge is, by definition, “relating to, or being something outside a literary text” . It is outside knowledge that is known prior to the viewing of the show. The genre of TV shows that I will be analysing will be that of horror. My two texts for analysis will be ‘Hannibal’ – First aired April 4, 2013 and ‘Bates Motel’ – First aired March 18, 2013. Extra textual knowledge is showcased the most in horror, whether it be the…show more content…
The origin of our favourite serial killer and how they came to be. It is interesting for an audience to see how they are moulded by their surroundings and situations into the Norman or Hannibal which we know today. The general public seem to have a macabre fascination for serial killers whether it be Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy, much like everyone looks at a car crash as they go past. “As such, serial killers appeal to the most basic and powerful instinct in all of us—that is, survival. The total disregard for life and the suffering of others exhibited by serial killers shocks our sense of humanity and makes us question our safety and security.” For example, In ‘Bates Motel’ we see the death of Norman’s father and the introduction of Norma Bates. The audience know that these two things are ultimately what change Norman and we are allowed the pleasure of seeing characters who we may not have seen before. Norma is dead throughout the whole of ‘Psycho’ so we never get to see her, but ‘Bates Motel’ allows us. Similarly we see Hannibal with patients (as he is a therapist) at work, where we can clearly see his manipulative mind working at full capacity. As an audience we can also see ‘a day in the life’ of these characters, our knowledge of them is only gathered from their final days or the climax of their reign of terror, these two shows allow us to relax, and watch them do something mundane, for example, doing homework or making breakfast. It adds a certain humanity to them, so we can empathise with them and become engaged in the show. Although at the end of it all, the audience know how each story will end, what characters will die and whether or not the serial killer will get away. ‘Lecter begins the books and films imprisoned, so we, as an audience, are aware of the inevitable fate of the titular character’ , we know that Hannibal will be in protective custody eventually and we know that Norman will shoot his mother and her lover

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