The Castle of Otranto | Study Guide

Horace Walpole

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The Castle of Otranto | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Sources: BBC, British Library, Encyclopaedia Britannica Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Narrator, Chapter 1 e beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost buried under an enormous helmet ... more large than any casque ever made for human being. Sterility Hippolita’s inability to bear more children spurs Manfred to act in ways that ultimately destroy himself and his legacy. Gothic Morality The intertwining of religious views of the Middle Ages and chivalric conventions create a Gothic morality in The Castle of Otranto. The story devices that result became Gothic novel standards. Magic vs. Providence Supernatural events push the narrative to its bloody conclusion, a “sacred vengeance” that rights the crimes Manfred's ancestors committed. Themes Heirs Walpole had, leading to the end of the earldom of Orford 0 Year Walpole became the 4th Earl of Orford 1791 Years it took Walpole to build his own Gothic castle called Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, West London 43 Year someone else supposedly wrote The Castle of Otranto—according to a false claim by Walpole 1529 The Castle of Otrantoby the Numbers Theodore Rightful heir to the Castle of Otranto; protects Isabella from Manfred SPOUSES ENGAGED Isabella Young woman pursued by Manfred after Conrad's death PURSUER Conrad Young lord of Otranto; crushed to death by a helmet FATHER Manfred Tyrannical lord of the Castle of Otranto; commits terrible acts to keep his power SPOUSES MOTHER FATHER Matilda Young lady of Otranto; loves Theodore but is murdered by Manfred MOTHER Hippolita Tragic mother and wife; manipulated by Manfred Main Characters A politician, academic, castle architect, and writer, Walpole forever influenced popular culture by establishing the Gothic genre. He was born in London to a powerful political family. The death of Walpole’s mother when he was 20 years old fueled the darkness of much of his writing. HORACE WALPOLE1717–97 Author Set in a dark medieval time, The Castle of Otranto follows Manfred and his family’s journey to continue lordship over a castle. The novel is considered the first Gothic novel, a genre that includes such authors as Edgar Allan Poe. Part realistic and part fantastical, the novel explores the complications between family and power. A Sorrowful Agreement OVERVIEW Only son of the lord of Otranto, Conrad dies after being crushed by a giant helmet before his wedding to Isabella. 1 Fearing the fulfillment of a prophecy foretelling the end of his family’s rule, Manfred seeks to divorce his wife, who can no longer bear children. 2 Manfred pursues Isabella, but she flees with Theodore, a local peasant. 3 Sent to kill Theodore by Manfred, Father Jerome discovers that Theodore is his son and begs for Theodore’s life. 4 Manfred locks Theodore in a tower, but Manfred’s daughter Matilda frees him. 5 After Manfred mistakenly kills Matilda, it is revealed that Theodore is the true lord of Otranto. 6 English Original Language 1764 Year Published Horace Walpole Author The Castle of Otranto Horror Novel

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