This essay argues that the gothicism of Lea Goldberg's play ba'alat ha-armon (The Lady of the Castle, 1956) undergirds its key concern: the role time plays in the encounter between art and reality, poetry and ideology. I compare key signifiers of gothic spatiality and temporality in Goldberg's play and Edgar Allan Poe's “Masque of the Red Death” (1842) to expose a shared conceptualization of the relationship between art and the real: the aesthetic sanctuary, designed to exclude time and other agents of the real, is nevertheless subject to and even dependent on its trespass. In light of the ideological quandaries that shaped Goldberg, I argue that the paradigm of insecure sanctuaries and competing temporalities underlies her revision of both gothic and Zionist notions of victimization. Goldberg's play thus reflects her ambivalence regarding the development of Hebrew national culture while also participating in a broader ethical dialogue about victimhood and oppression.

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