Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog #5


Some patterns that can be seen within these different texts are in The Vampyre and The Castle of Otranto, we see the common theme of men using their power to control and disempower women for their gain. The Vampyre displays Lord Ruthven's blood lust for corrupting young girls and merely using them as his pawns. In the story of the Castle of Otranto, Manfred uses his power over Isabella and Hippolita to have more control and political gain; he throws them away. Also, both stories lack the female voices being prayed upon in these stories. We see that from both stories, the women are either forced to seed to the men in power or written off as entirely ignorant and ultimately helpless. For example, when Isabella is escaping Manfred, she goes into the subterranean passageways. We can see how the corridors represent the restricted nature of women characters in writing but with different tunnel ways displaying how they can be much room to grow. Both readings show the violations of the women and the trust of men broken. In the castle of Otranto, Manfred's lack of concern for Conrad, even though he was his favorite child, suggests that his interest in Conrad is more linked with Isabella. This being that the marriage would cement his place on the throne more than Conrad himself. Isabella views Hippolita and Manfred as parental figures who make sexual transgressions doubly incestuous and a breach of trust. For the reading The Vampyre, Lord Ruthven puts a curse on Aubrey, who puts faith in him, and he violates his sister by making her fall in love with him, only for him to kill and ruin the people near to his heart. These readings show many themes like loyalty, trust, fear, the supernatural, women, gender, betrayal, and revenge.


  1. Savara Khan

    Hello Shaneka, I also talked about the disempowering of women and the extent of power the men are given in these gothic texts. We can see how even with the women with all the wealth in the world they are still seen with no power. 

  2. Laura Westengard

    You make some strong points here! I see that you analyze the presence of the theme of incestuous relationships, but you don’t include it in your list of themes in the last sentence. It should definitely be included since incest is certainly considered a common Gothic characteristic.

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