The Castle of Otranto | Study Guide

Horace Walpole

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The Castle of Otranto | Characters

Character Description
Manfred Manfred, the Prince of Otranto, is the villain in the story. After the death of his son, he attempts to have a new heir in whatever way possible, and so tries to divorce his wife and marry Isabella. Read More
Isabella Isabella is a princess who, after her betrothed dies, escapes a morally grotesque marriage with her would-be father-in-law by running to a nearby convent for sanctuary and protection. After constant difficulty throughout the novel, she ends up marrying Theodore. Read More
Matilda Matilda is the daughter of Hippolita and Manfred, who accidentally murders her. Read More
Hippolita Hippolita is a tragic figure in the novel. Her son is killed, and, because she is unable to birth another, Manfred attempts to divorce her. He then accidentally murders her only daughter. Read More
Theodore Unknown to him at the beginning of the novel, Theodore is the rightful heir to the Castle of Otranto. When Matilda is murdered, Theodore marries Isabella. Read More
Father Jerome Father Jerome is also a noble, the Count of Falconara. The absent father of Theodore, Father Jerome protects Isabella in his convent and doesn't follow Manfred's commands. Read More
Frederic Frederic, Marquis of Vicenza, is Isabella's father and the knight of the giant sabre. Read More
Alfonso the Good Alfonso the Good, whose portrait hangs in the castle and whose statue sits in the St. Nicholas church adjacent to the castle, is the ancestor who is related in blood to Frederic, Marquis of Vicenza, and Theodore. At the end of the novel he appears as an angry ghost whose vengeance is finally appeased for being murdered and usurped by Manfred's grandfather.
Bianca Bianca is Matilda's handmaiden and confidante.
Conrad Conrad is killed by a giant, supernatural helmet at the beginning of the novel, a symbol of the changes that will soon take place in and to the castle ruled over by his father (Manfred) and mother (Hippolita).
Diego Diego is a servant of the Castle of Otranto. He and Jaquez see the leg and foot of a giant ghost wearing armor and sitting in the chamber by the great gallery.
Herald The herald announces the arrival of the knight of the giant sabre, who is actually Frederic, when he arrives at the Castle of Otranto to rescue Isabella and confront Manfred.
Hermit The hermit in Joppa has a message waiting for Frederic that foretells of a visitation by St. Nicholas, which comes true at the end of the novel. The hermit tells Frederic where to dig for the gigantic sword that matches the gigantic helmet, leg, and foot that mysteriously appear in the castle. The hermit appears as a frightening ghost to Frederic and tells him not to marry Matilda.
Jaquez Jaquez is a servant in the castle. He and Diego see the leg and foot of a giant ghost wearing armor and sitting in the chamber by the great gallery.
Don Manuel Don Manuel is Manfred's father, who is mentioned because Manfred inherited the Castle of Otranto from him.
St. Nicholas St. Nicholas, who is a real saint in Catholicism, appears as a spirit at the end of the novel and welcomes Alfonso the Good into heaven.
Other friar The other friar from the convent tells Father Jerome, mistakenly, that Hippolita is dead. He also accompanies Father Jerome to the Castle of Otranto when Isabella runs away.
Don Ricardo Don Ricardo is Manfred's grandfather, who stole the Castle of Otranto from Alfonso the Good after poisoning him and forging his will.
Spy The spy is a servant Manfred places in the convent with the intention of finding out about Theodore and Isabella's relationship. When the spy tells Manfred that Theodore is speaking with a woman in the church, it leads to Manfred accidentally killing his daughter, Matilda.
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