The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole Essay

The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole Essay

Length: 1216 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Women in the 18th and 19th century were expected to follow the orders of the males in their lives. They were forced into arranged marriages to connect families in a pursuit for social power and they were expected to abide by anything the males in their lives asked of them. Free will was nonexistent. Much gothic literature effectively highlights the women’s expected role of the time. However, another aspect that seems to surface in gothic literature is whenever there is a woman who is not following the social norms, they seem to be the driving conflict behind the plotline and ultimately lead to any present happy ending.
Castle of Otranto provides a prime example of the contrasting roles of the women. Multiple times Hippolita is described as and acts in a way that reflects the ideal submissive woman. Hippolita does as Manfred says no matter what she is asked, even to the point where she follows through with the divorce Manfred desires. Hippolita is upset but does not fight it, and accepts what Manfred says and joins a monastery. Hippolita pushes her happiness and morals behind her for the benefit of her tyrannical husband. On the other side of the spectrum is Isabella, the girl who is on the right track to becoming a proper lady, but rebels against Manfred. Conrad is soon to elope with her by means of an arranged marriage and Isabella complies until the fateful day when Conrad is killed. When Manfred then sets his mind on marrying Isabella, and Isabella will not adhere to his will so her rebellion ensues. She eludes Manfred and runs away from his castle deliberately disobeying him as she pursues her own happiness. If Isabella had been submissive and married Manfred as she was told to, she would have been engaged in a union withou...

... middle of paper ...

...heir characters. By underlining the contrasting traits in their characters, they successfully criticize a society’s sexist views. They each presente the way a woman should act, and then brake the mold with a main character. In both situations, this creates conflict that helped the author’s with both plot progress and a symbol of the tough road to equality. The characters that stray from the social norms to pursue a happier more fulfilling life all end with a textbook “happily ever after” endings where as the characters that strive to keep to the tyrannical patriarchal system moving, end with poor lives, or no lives at all. Radcliffe and Walpole both claim the profound statement in their novels that the patriarchal society they live in is unfair and unjust, and there are benefits to living outside this lifestyle to those people willing to take the rough road there.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Gothic Fiction: The Representation of Evil in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto

- Gothic Fiction: The Representation of Evil in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel written by Horace Walpole. It is regarded as the first Gothic novel, initiating a new literary genre which became extremely popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gothic literature’s desire to explore the unknown, the unexplainable, inexplicable and the terrifying can be seen as a reaction to the Enlightenment’s emphasis on the rational and knowable. The Enlightenment rejected the belief in superstition, and religion....   [tags: literary genre, literary analysis]

Strong Essays
2238 words (6.4 pages)

Elements Of Gothic Literature By Horace Walpole 's The Castle Of Otranto

- One of the earliest gothic novels was Horace Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto” from 1764. Since then the same elements used in that novel have been use to create gothic literature. In Professor Robert Harris’ article titled “Elements of the Gothic Novel” he describes ten elements that are present in one way or another in gothic literature. In the following paragraphs I will define these elements of gothic literature outlined by Professor Harris, and explain how Edgar Allan Poe used them in his short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” The setting of gothic literature, as described by Professor Harris, is a castle “sometimes seemingly abandoned, sometimes occupied....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic fiction]

Strong Essays
1717 words (4.9 pages)

The Castle of Otranto and Wuthering Heights: Love Beyond Classes, Life, and Death

- Setting his work in the Middle Ages in a remote castle with horror and fantastic elements, Horace Walpole popularized the Gothic Romance genre with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto. He was the vanguard in bring thrills to readers with ancient prophecies, mysterious deaths, specters and supernatural events in his novel. However, the Gothic genre reaches a climax in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), which is marked by its intensity of emotions and artistic subtlety. Wuthering Heights is an exquisite blend of realism and romance that makes it a classic love story that haunts us till today....   [tags: gothic romance, Horace Walpole, Emily Bronte]

Strong Essays
1195 words (3.4 pages)

Ambiguities in the Textual Body of The Castle of Otranto Essay

- Incongruous Corpus: Ambiguities in the Textual Body of The Castle of Otranto While the relationship of the Gothic to the Romantic is debatable, the persistent desire of some critics to see it as pre-Romantic should not disguise the possibility that the genre is “actually sending out very contradictory impulses about its own intentions, [and] adopting certain strategies that thwart the very perceptions it seems to be on the brink of achieving” (Napier, 4). This uncertainty in form and intent has produced imprecision and imbalances in Gothic novels that are partly the result of instability within the Gothic form....   [tags: Horace Walpole Gothic]

Strong Essays
2725 words (7.8 pages)

Gothic Elements:The Castle of Otranto by Walpole and a Scene in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

- When a person thinks about gothic today, they might think of a sparkly vampire or a hunky Frankenstein in popularized films. This has led to parodies upon these adaptations of the gothic. This relationship between traditional gothic characters and parodies is not a new subject but a very interesting dynamic. I would like to discuss how one scene from the typical gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, and a scene from Jane Austen’s parody of the gothic novel in Northanger Abbey contrast in many different ways to illustrate gothic tropes as well as Austen’s perspective view on the subject of the gothic through the use of, diction, setting, character and tone....   [tags: Negative Tone, Male Power Position]

Strong Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Edgar Allan Poe 's The Castle Of Otranto : A Gothic Story

- The genre of English literature known as Gothic first appeared widespread in the late seventeen hundreds with the publishing of “Horace Walpole 's The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story” in which the Genre received its name. This novel quickly grew the popularity of the genre and brought it to the masses. Throughout the rest of this century, many new authors emerged and gained popularity by writing in this genre. At the turn of the next century, a new author known as Edgar Allan Poe completely revolutionized the genre by exploring different aspects of the "dark" side of the imagination....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic fiction, Horror fiction]

Strong Essays
1442 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Feminist Perspective of A Sicilian Romance and The Castle of Otranto

- A Feminist Perspective of A Sicilian Romance and The Castle of Otranto   In eighteenth century novels, a common means of discussing the role of women in society is through the characterization of two good sisters. The heroine of such a novel is a pure, kind young woman who also has a streak of spunkiness. Her sister may be more good and kind, but she is more submissive and reserved. I would like to look at these sisters (and their mothers) in Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance , and The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Strong Essays
2835 words (8.1 pages)

Gothic Novels Essay

- Gothic is described as something that is destructive and barbaric which attracts and disrupts what is considered civilised. Therefore to a certain extent Jackson is right. however the “very act of speaking about these socially unspeakable is an ambiguous gesture (Punter p.417).” This is where the element of superstition and the paranormal come in. In Horace Walpole’s The Castle Otranto and Matthew Lewis’ The Monk this element of paranormal and superstition gives way or embodies the contradiction of society which Jackson speaks of, or at least some of them....   [tags: Literary Analysis, The Castle of Otranto]

Strong Essays
2333 words (6.7 pages)

Castle of Otranto Preface Analysis Essay

- Horace Walpole (1717-1797) invented the Gothic novel in his attempt to blend wildness and imagination of the old romance, in his own words "an attempt to blend the two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern' in one step altogether, the Castle of Otranto. A novel he claimed to have written immediately after being inspired by a dream, "I waked one morning...from a dream, of which all I could recover was, that I had thought myself in an ancient castle...I saw a gigantic hand in armour. In the evening I sat down and began to write" (Letter, 9th march 1765)....   [tags: European Literature]

Strong Essays
1796 words (5.1 pages)

Taking The Castle of Otranto as your example, outline the main conventions

- Taking The Castle of Otranto as your example, outline the main conventions of the Gothic novel, and show how your knowledge of Taking The Castle of Otranto as your example, outline the main conventions of the Gothic novel, and show how your knowledge of these conventions affects your reading of Northanger Abbey. Is Northanger Abbey most accurately described as parody of the Gothic genre, or is there a more complicated relationship going on. Gothic novels purport to revive old stories and beliefs, exploring personal, psychical encounters with the taboo (Williams, 2000)....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
1461 words (4.2 pages)