Poetry, short stories, or novels designed to thrill readers by providing mystery and blood-curdling accounts of villainy, murder, and the supernatural.The conventions of gothic literature include wild and desolate landscapes, ancient buildings such as ruined monasteries, cathedrals, castles with dungeons, torture chambers, secret doors, and winding stairways, apparitions, phantoms, demons, and necromancers, an atmosphere of brooding gloom. Conventionally, dark, powerful male characters threaten female characters, and description tries to evoke horror, disgust, or terror. See: Edgar Allan Poe or Twilight A common term of variable meaning, imagery includes the "mental pictures" that readers experience while reading. It signifies a work's sensory perceptions, whether by description, allusion, simile, or metaphor. Imagery is not limited to visual imagery; it also includes auditory (sound), tactile (touch), thermal (heat and cold),olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), and kinesthetic sensation (movement). From the German term for "lead motif," a leit-motif originally designated a musical theme associated with an object, character, or emotion. For instance, the ominous music in Jaws plays whenever the shark approaches. That particular score is the shark's leit-motif. In literature, critics use leit-motif to refer to an object, animal, phrase, or other thing loosely associated with a character, setting, or event. The leit-motif is not necessarily a symbol (though it can be). You might consider Holden Caulfield's hunting hat, for instance, his leit-motif. In common usage, people often use the word "platonic" to mean "non-sexual" when describing a relationship. Thus, a Platonic love-affair is one in which the couple is attracted to each other for mental or psychological qualities rather than sex. More specifically, however, Platonic philosophy is Plato's idea that behind (or above or outside) the imperfect physical world, another intangible world of abstract ideas exists. These abstract-but-perfect ideas (called Platonic forms) appear only as dim outlines (or shadows) in the physical world. Plato argues that traits such as "Justice," "Beauty," and "Goodness" theoretically exist in perfect forms. Material creatures, who cannot see or enjoy the abstract quality of Beauty itself, can only enjoy specific manifestations of Beauty--such as sunsets or starlight or silvery snow. The unenlightened do not realize it is not these specific objects they should admire, but the quality of beauty behind them--the form of absolute Beauty that is eternal and unchanging even as specific sunsets fade and yearly snowfalls melt away. Because these abstract traits remain eternal even as the physical world changes, Plato concludes that the Platonic forms are more real than the concrete things we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. He concludes that the physical world is the illusion or dream, and the world of the mind is closer to the "real" world of the eternal forms.