Banditti is an Italian word for robbers or outlaws. Eighteenth century fiction, which led to the first Gothic novels, was obsessed with the law, its operations, and its limits, but the Banditti is a person who lives outside the law, a condition designed to provoke the anxieties of the law-abiding British reader. The Italian roots of the Banditti are a manifestation of the foreign settings of many Gothic texts, which habitually explored the most sensitive subjects by placing them at a distance. In this way, the Gothic locate the subjects of lawnessness, injustice, and crime in a mysterious frontier, rather than on London's streets. The author's decision to name a group of thieves Banditti may also reflect a type of ‘othering,’ since the Banditti exists only on the margins of society, and is Italian, not English.
Courtesy of Wendy Fall, Marquette University
See also: otherness
Punter, David. Gothic Pathologies : The Text, the Body, and the Law. Basingstoke : Macmillan ; New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Press, 1998. Print.