Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

  • One of the most famous works of Gothic literature is Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. Manfred, the novel’s protagonist and lord of the castle, is desperate to safeguard his dynasty by marrying off his son to a woman with royal blood. The problem is that his son Conrad has feelings for another lady, and when Conrad dies under inexplicable circumstances, Manfred is convinced that his son’s ghost is lurking around the castle. Manfred plans to marry off his daughter Isabella to a man of royal lineage in the hopes of driving away the ghost that has been haunting the castle. However, Isabella has another love than Ferdinand, and she and her boyfriend eventually escape the castle. The tale concludes with the death of Manfred and the demolition of the castle (Walpole, 1764).
  • The castle itself serves as a significant Gothic metaphor throughout the book. Ensnarement on a political and sexual level is represented by the castle as a metaphor. Manfred’s authority and his desire to exert his will on others in his immediate environment are both represented by the castle. Additionally, the protagonists’ lustful fantasies are represented by the castle in this story. The castle serves as a setting in which the characters are hemmed in on all fronts, be it literally or psychologically. Due to the fact that it was Conrad’s final resting place and the location of Isabella’s brush with mortality, the castle is a particularly hazardous location (Haggerty, 1996).
  • The metaphorical meaning of the castle relates to the social problem of power and control. The dominance and control that men exercised over women in the 18th century is represented by the figure of Manfred. She is a representation of the power and authority that women had over males in the 18th century, and Isabella is a symbol of that. In the 18th century, men held power and control over women, and the castle serves as a metaphor of this power and control. The power and control that men had over their own desires is also represented by the castle as a symbol by the castle.

1 Comment

  1. Laura Westengard

    Hi Khomeshwari, It seems like you put your answers to the accountability assignment here instead of your blog post. If you are confused about the assignments and where they should be posted, please email me and/or visit my zoom office hours so I can answer your questions.

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