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The Castle of Otranto - Essay Example

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The Castle of Otranto presents an unstable character in the person of Hippolita, the princess of Otranto, wife of prince Manfred and doting mother of Conrad and Matilda. It is clearly seen that among all the characters, Hippolita is the sweetest and most naïve. She obviously…
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Full A Mother’s Love Can a mother who claims to greatly love her daughter sacrifice her child’s future for an unloving husband and father’s desires?
The Castle of Otranto presents an unstable character in the person of Hippolita, the princess of Otranto, wife of prince Manfred and doting mother of Conrad and Matilda. It is clearly seen that among all the characters, Hippolita is the sweetest and most naïve. She obviously adored her husband and one might think her love for him blinded her of his many wrongs. In contrast to her amiable characteristics, Manfred is pictured as a difficult man. Nevertheless, Hippolita shows no sign of resignation or dislike toward his character. Considering the setting of the story, it could be understood that the princess was simply doing her duties toward her husband. However, at some point she could also be seen as one who deliberately chose to be blind to her unreciprocated feelings toward her husband and has thus fooled herself to believing that Manfred simply did not like her to worry about difficult situations. For instance, it has been expected that when Conrad died, the family members should be the ones gathering together to comfort each other. Hippolita was very worried about her husband so she sent her daughter to his side but she was driven away. Instead, Conrad’s fiancée, Isabella, was summoned and without any inkling, Hippolita sent the young princess to her husband and never thought ill of her husband.
The above-mentioned attitude of Hippolita may be understandable at such an emotional moment however her character is questioned at a time when she is able to think more clearly about her family’s affairs. When Manfred suggested that Matilda should be married to Prince Frederic, the woman later learned of the evil plans of the prince. Everything fell into place as she learned that Manfred had plans of divorcing her as “the recollection of Manfred’s late ambiguous discourses confirmed what she heard” (p. 79). Nevertheless, instead of trying to save her marriage or her daughter from a future she did not like to live, Hippolita used all her influence on her daughter to give in to the desires of her father.
It is this event that puts into question how Hippolita claims to feel toward her daughter especially when she learns that Matilda is in love with the young Theodore. For a modern individual, it is quite difficult to comprehend a doting mother to let her child suffer a long-term relationship that can rob her daughter of the happiness she should experience with the man she loves. Having herself experienced a difficult life with her husband, Hippolita should be the first to understand and foresee what Matilda might experience in the hands of a person she did not love. Instead, she became the very instrument that might have accomplished the devilish plans of Manfred if Matilda did not die. Considering that Matilda will be married to a prince, it is still not enough for Hippolita to consent to the marriage because she should be the first person to know that wealth and royalty does not bring the lifelong happiness in a marriage. From this, I conclude that Hippolita might have loved her daughter but not as much as she adored her husband whom she desired to please despite the evil he meant for her and their daughter. Read More
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