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The Supernatural in The Castle of Otranto

            The novel "The Castle of Otranto" is written by the well-known predecessor of the gothic fiction – the author Horace Walpole. He contributed greatly to the Gothic genre and inspired numerous famous authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, Daphne du Maurier and even more recent authors such as J.K. Rowling.(the telegraph.co.uk) His novel was published in 1529, but it is well-known that it was written a lot earlier, supposedly around the era of the first Crusade. In his work, Horace Walpole attempts to combine Old Romance and New Romance – supernatural elements and ordinary people, who are dealing with bizarre and often ridiculous situations. His novel is full of unearthly phenomena connected by religion and questions about heirs, foes, successors and marriage through some supernatural elements created by him. "Castle of Otranto" is said to be the first Gothic novel, however, Horace Walpole's Gothic novel meant totally different thing than today.
             The whole concept of the novel seems to revolve around the Christian idea that "the sins of the fathers are visited on their children"(Preface, The Castle of Otranto) and how one long kept sin would be revealed mysteriously to the world and the following nemesis. One crucial element for the gothic novel is the idea of usurpation. This is one of the vital consequences of the birthright. Whether you are the true birthright prince is of crucial importance and a major difficulty to identify if we consider the lack of moral during that period. The first supernatural element for Manfred in relation to "the sins of fathers are visited on their children to the third and fourth generation" (Preface, the Castle of Otranto) appear as a massive helmet with enormous black feathers on and fall on Manfred's son. Conrad was only 15 years old and he was about to get married with a young lady called Isabella, but not because of love, but because of his father and his willingness to have an heir of the throne of Otranto.

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