Book Report Castle of Otronto

575 Words3 Pages
The gothic novel I read for this task is called The Castle of Otranto, written by Horace Walpole. Horace grew up wealthy along with his 4 siblings due to their father Robert Walpole, being the first prime minister of Great Britain. The Castle of Otronto is generally regarded as the first gothic novel. Horace died the year 1797 at the age of 80. Time Period The novel was originally published the year 1764 and in the tale is set in Italy during the 12th century. Despite being written such a long time ago, the language is in no way antiquated, making the novel very readable. One example is when Isabella says; “There is no bombast, no similes, flowers, digressions, or unnecessary descriptions. Everything tends directly to the catastrophe.” Elements and Setting One of the main reasons why this novel is put in the gothic genre is its elements. Since one of the main characters Manfred is a prince, most of the story is set in a castle packed with ghosts, mysteries, love affairs and terror. Which doesn’t make it sound so realistic. Characters and plot summary As I mentioned before, Manfred, lord of Otranto, is desperate to avoid the effects of a prophecy which warns that the lordship of Otranto will pass from his family when there are no more male heirs. So he attempts to marry his ill 15- year- old son, Conrad, to the unenthusiastic Isabella, in order to prolong the line, but Conrad is killed by the fall of an immense helmet. And the first thing that comes out of his mouth was “take care of lady Isabella” So right from this moment the author paints such a horrible picture for Manfred’s character which makes the readers hate him since he describes the situation so well, at least that’s what i felt. But later on Manfred actually starts to develop feelings for Isabelle and quoting from the text he even says; "Isabella, since I cannot give you my son, I offer you myself."
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