Supernatural vs. Natural
Ever been watching television and out of nowhere a picture frame or some other object fall without anyone moving it? Was it some supernatural power that caused it to fall like a ghost that is haunting a house or was the picture frame just placed wrong? The Castle of Otranto has many mysterious events that happen all throughout the novel, but not all of them are said to be supernatural. Some of the events can actually be explained, but others can’t therefore are said to be supernatural.
The very first thing that happens in the novel is the giant helmet “larger than any casque ever made for human beings” that had fallen randomly out of the sky and crushed Conrad. There is no reasonable explanation to how anyone could have dropped it on Conrad because it was that huge that no one could have lifted it. One of the events that can be explained is when Manfred is trying to chase after Isabella but stops when the “moon presented to his sight the plumes of the fatal helmet, which rose to the height of the windows, waving backwards and forwards in a tempestuous manner, and accompanied with a hollow and rustling sound”. The reflection of the moon casted a shadow of the helmet and the wind caused the shadow to appear to be waving. The rustling sound was most likely made by the animals or the guards walking. This event appears to be natural though it does give the setting a scary atmosphere. Falling photograph frames are somewhat normal, but Horace Walpole took it a little farther and mentioned the portrait of Manfred’s “grandfather uttered a deep sigh, and heaved its breast”. Not only did his grandfather in the portrait sighed, but “it also quit its panel, and descended on the floor with a grave and melancholy air and then motion for Manfred to follow him”. Just like in Harry Potter moving portraits that talk are fictions, but it is a very effective way to raise the climax and give the reader a feeling of...
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