Examine the Role/Contribution of Supernatural Forces in the novel.
The castle of Otranto is full of supernatural incidents. Manifestations that beset the inhabitants of Otranto are related to the theme of succession. The gigantic foot and hand which suddenly materialize in the great chamber arid tire staircase are part F the build-up to the climactic return of Alfono the Good.
In the irousehn1 I of Manfred, the fraudulent Prince of Otranto, a wedding is being arranged between his fifteen-year-old son Conrad and Isabella, the Princess of Vicenza and the daughter of the Marquis of Vicenza. On a fateful day, Conrad is crushed to death under a mysterious helmet purported to be that from the statue of Alfonso the Good, the last prince of Otranto. How this giant helmet is transported to the castle from the church in a mystery mainly because of the fact that hundred people cannot lift the helmet.
Another strange and supernatural incident is the engravement on the sword which foretells tire calamity that awaits Manfred. The appearance of Manfred’s grandfather and his warning to Manfred is part of the supernatural design to forewarn him of the futility of his inglorious pursuit. The apparition is significant for instance, the apparition (hermit’s skeleton) reproaches Frederic for pursuing carnal delight against the order of heaven. 1 Iris is engraved on the gigantic saber (giant sword) through the supernatural appearance of the apparition; Fredric is prevented from being mingled with the “doomed’ household of Manfred through Matilda’s marriage.
Again, as Manfred talks about the proposed marriages, three drops of Blood fall from the nose of Alfonso’s statue. Similarly, a gigantic hand in armour is seen in the castle as strange images are seen protruding from portraits. Members of Manfred’s household often hear odd noises and liken same to ghosts. Driven by jealousy, Manfred, in his blind rage stabs a woman in the only to realize flint he has killed his own daughter Matilda. This is indeed supernatural as the old prophecy is gradually being fulfilled. The survival of Theodore and subsequent appearance at the castle remains a mystery. As he proclaims himself the true prince of Otranto, the qiant form of Alfonso appears and confirms Theodore as the rightful heir to the throne of Otranto. Afterward, the image of Aimonso ascends to heaven and is received by St. Nicholas amidst Prouder claps.
All these supernatural occurrences form the prelude to the eventual fulfillment of ancient prophecies. “That Richardo’s posterity should reign in Otranto until the rightful Owner should be grown too large to inhabit the castle, and as long as issue ma from Richardo’s loins should remain to enjoy it…”