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The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole is an English 18th century gothic style genre It is considered the first gothic novel a literary genre that is based on elements of ancient supernatural romance The setting takes place in an old castle in England with hidden passageways that lead to a Catholic convent The story itself is based on an ancient prophecy spiraling into an ancestral curse revealing conflict and retribution between the past and present rightful heir to the Castle of Otranto Walpole from an aristocratic family a Member of Parliament and owner of an established printing press publishes this novel in 1754 In his literary guise as editor in the first preface Walpole writes that the novels moral is the sins of the fathers are visited on their children The sins Walpole is referring to are basically all related to usurping the Castle of Otranto These hidden transgressions thus culminate into violence murder and deception in an attempt to secure the castle without being a rightful heir As a result the forces of supernatural retribution begin to manifest in fearful apparitions They serve as warnings to the villain Manfred who is the king of Otranto However Manfreds lust for power and patriarchal rule supersede the many warnings from the supernatural He is a man full of rage intemperance and will resort to violence should his subjects not acquiesce to his every demand Walpole holds the reader in suspense throughout the novel due to the threat of constant impending death of one or more of the characters In my essay I will explore how the supernatural upholds rightful inheritance and how when the heir is illegitimate even to the second or third generation retribution follows and is executed by the supernatural world in that the sins of the fathers are visited on their children According
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