Comment on the use of Narrative Techniques in the novel.
Various narrative techniques have been employed to strengthen the language of the story, they include:
USE OF IRONY
One of the greatest narrative techniques used in the castle of Otranto is Irony. On the 15th birthday anniversary of Conrad, the only son of Manfred and heir to Otranto, a wedding is arranged between Conrad, the daughter of Frederic, Marquis of Vicenza. This was to be a happy day in the castle of Otranto but the atmosphere was full of gloom as a result of the death of Conrad under a strange helmet. Ironically, the helmet, a symbol of kingship of Otranto which Manfred hopes to retain for his descendants becomes the weapon of his sorrow.
Father Jerome is called to give absolution to the condemned peasant prior to his execution; a birthmark on the body of the young peasant reminds Jerome of his long-lost son before he retired to the convent. Theodore, the young peasant, whose soul, he is about to commit to God is indeed his own son.
Again, Isabella is to be married to Conrad, son of Manfred. But strangely, Conrad dies on his wedding day, however, Manfred surprisingly declares his intention to divorce his wife, Hippolita and marry Isabella, his son’s fiancée.
As Isabella rejects this unholy proposal, Manfred is hurt emotionally coupled with Isabella’s escape. When Manfred is told that Theodore, the young peasant is in the church with a woman, fr1f1frcI, in anger goes to the church and hearing o woman’s voice in the dark, stabs her with his dagger. Unfortunately, the woman lit’ kills turns out to be his only daughter Matilda.
Fate played a significant part in the entire narration. Several instances of divine intervention abound in the story. First and foremost, as fate would have it, Manfred’s son Conrad does not live to inherit the throne of Otranto. He is crushed to death by a divine helmet to prevent the retention of the throne by the wrong family. Again, through the appearance of the hermit skeleton, Frederic is prevented from marrying Matilda. Moreover, Theodore deceives Manfred as he searches for Isabella and telling Manfred that he had escaped from the roof by divine intervention, a gap had appeared though which the peasant claimed he passed through.
Another instance of divine intervention can be seen when Manfred insists that Father Jerome should go to the convent and bring the princess (Isabella) to him as a condition to spare the life of the youth at that very moment1 “the sable plumes on the enchanted helmet were agitated and nodded thrice as if bowed’ such sudden movement (agitation) or the feathers (plumes) is a divine distraction to save Isabella from the fury of Manfred.
The appearance of the hermit skeleton is a divine intervention to prevent Frederic from being contaminated with the blood of Matilda, Manfred’s daughter. The encounter between Manfred and Hippolita at the church of St. Nicholas gives credence to divine intervention Manfred meets Hippolita at the church to enforce his divorce plan. The three women, Hippolita, Isabella and Matilda earlier discuss the consequence of this divorce and Isabella’s unwillingness to marry Manfred. As Manfred takes Hippolita to leave, three drops of blood fall from the nose of the statue of Alfonso. Father Jerome compares this to the crying of the Virgin Mary. This is a warning sign to Manfred.
USE OF SUSPENSE
This technique is vigorously used in the story. As the domestic rush in to tell Manfred of Conrad’s tragic death, there is suspense with the volley of voices saying “Oh! My Lord! The prince, the prince! The helmet! The helmet thus, the revelation of the sudden death of Conrad on his wedding day is good suspense. Subsequently, Manfred declares his intention to marry Isabella. She escapes. Running through the dark vault, she encounters Theodore who also is on the death roll of Manfred. The fight between Theodore and the knight at the end of the tunnel is a source of suspense. When Theodore strikes the man, it is later found that he is the father of Isabella whom he wants to help. Both men are indeed enemies of Manfred.
On several occasions, the women complain of enchanted voices which create tension and fear. The appearance of the apparition in the form of the hermit skeleton creates suspense. The killing of Matilda in error is big suspense as she takes one me to die. The absolut01 of Theodore and his subsequent discovery as the son of father Jerome is a good suspense technique. The fate of Theodore in relation to his claim of the true prince of Otranto is a strong source of suspense Father Jerome tells the story of the pilgrimage of Alfonso to the holy land, his suspicious death the fictitious will and the emergence of Richardo as a prince in place of Alfonso Manfred has no refutal as his father, Richardo had told him. But the appearance of the image of Alfon50 confirms Theodore as the true heir. Thereafter the image ascends to heaven.