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Research Paper on Gothic Elements

The supernatural, a motif in The Castle of Toronto, helps to show the reader hat Manfred family is not the rightful heir of Toronto. There is a prophecy that states that the castle would pass from the current family once the real owners grew too large to inhabit it. Most Of the ghostly occurrences relate to exposing Don Orchard’s usurpation before installing Theodore, who is the rightful heir” (Wright 2), these ghostly occurrences warn against the joining of Manfred and Isabella families, “he beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost buried under an enormous helmet, a hundred times larger than any Jacques ever made for human being, and shaded with a proportionally quantity of black feathers” (Walpole 4). Concord’s death is supernatural because there is simply no logical way to explain a very large helmet landing on him and covering him with black feathers.

Especially since the helmet had come from the statue of a former prince, Alfonse. Concord’s death is a sign that Manfred is not the true heir, and also a warning that Manfred should let the rightful heir take over. The moment Theodore appeared, the walls of the castle behind Manfred were thrown down with a mighty force, and the form of Alfonse, dilated to an immense magnitude, appeared in the centre of the ruins. Behold in Theodore the true heir of Alfonse! Id the vision: and having the pronounced these words, accompanied by a clap of thunder, it ascended solemnly towards heaven, where, the clouds parting asunder, the form of SST. Nicholas was seen, and receiving Alfonse shade, they were soon wrap from mortal eyes in a blaze of glory. (Walpole 139) This event is superbly supernatural, from the apparitions to the fact that Alfonse, a dead man, is talking to them. The castle walls that fall behind Manfred symbolize the termination of his lordship and Alfonse rising out of the ruins symbolizes the beginning of Theorem’s lordship.

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The element of the supernatural helps to fleet the element of romanticism, a hero’s identity being revealed, and express the theme of the book, rightful inheritance. Another motif of gothic literature that is found within The Castle of Toronto is the setting of the castle. “The standard Gothic paraphernalia (haunted castles, creaking staircases, vampire bats, and secret passageways) (Brayer-Bermuda 74), can be found in this novel and they help to show the reader that there is a deeper meaning, or more to the story than it looks like.

This quote makes the reader think about how deep and intricate the castle they live in really is, “The lower art of the castle was hollowed into several intricate choosiest: and it was not easy for one, under so much anxiety, to find the door that opened into the cavern” (Walpole 15). The secret passageways and corridors in the lower part of the castle represent the deeper meaning in the story and that there is something being hidden from everyone.

It represents the secret that Theodore is the true heir of Toronto; everybody is so busy with finding an heir that they don’t even think to ask Jerome about his life before he was friar. They are too anxious about finding an heir that they cannot navigate the twist ND turns to find out that Theodore is the true heir. Until Alfonse lays the truth right out in front of them, they hadn’t even really thought of the possibility. If they had looked into the resemblance between Alfonse and Theodore, they could have discovered the secret sooner.

The setting of the castle in the story The Castle of Toronto shows the reader that there is a secret being hidden from almost everyone in the story, this is shown through the imagery of the dark and Intricate passageways in the lower levels of the castle. The last motif is women threatened by a tyrannical male. Manfred, the rents prince of Toronto tries to force Isabella to marry him something she doesn’t want to do, “Manfred responds to the loss of his heir by proposing to divorce his aging wife Haploid and to marry Isabella, his son’s betrothed” (Williams 62).

Manfred wants to marry Isabella, because she is young and can give him more children ( hopefully more boys) than Haploid can. He wants to ensure that his family keeps ruling Toronto. “He conducts his implicitly incestuous but quite literal pursuit of this princess through the dark vaults and dim corridors of the castle, spaces uncannily furnished with weeping tastes and sighing ancestral portraits” (Williams 62). Manfred is on a quest to have another son, another heir, and he will do whatever it takes, he sets out to kick for Isabella so he could take her as his wife.

The ancestral portraits in this quote express the wrongness of what Manfred is doing. It shows that they think its a bad idea, and possibly that they know something that everyone else doesn’t. The sighing leads some to believe that they are weary of watching as Manfred continues to try to put forth an heir, but it seems apparent that they already know that there is another heir outside of Manfred family, the true heir, Theodore. Throughout the story Manfred continuously tries to make Isabella become his wife, but she flees the first tie he mentions it.

She decides to go to the monastery thinking it would be a safe place to hide out, “Sir, whoever you are, take pity on a wretched princess, standing on the brink of destruction; assist me to escape from this fatal castle, or, in a few moments, I may be made miserable forever’ (Walpole 19). This quote shows just how powerful Manfred is and just how much fear he instills into everyone. Isabella plays the true “damsel in distress” in this story, he continuously has to be rescued and saved from the Manfred.

Manfred tyrannical behavior about everything predicts his fall, because most tyrants are eventually removed from authority. In The Castle of Toronto by Horace Walpole has many of the motifs found in gothic novels, three of which are the supernatural, the castle setting, and women threatened by a tyrannical male. All of these elements come together to help show that Theodore is the true heir of Toronto and the idea of human struggle. Theodore is constantly doing what he thinks is right he doesn’t try to fit in, because he knows what he ants to do and doesn’t do anything just to please someone.


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