The Castle of Otranto

Frederic Character Analysis

Frederic is the Marquis of Vincenza and Isabella’s father. Throughout most of the novel, he is known as the closest male blood relative to Alfonso with the strongest claim to ruling Otranto, but has been missing for years. After his wife died in childbirth, Frederic joins the Crusades and is captured by infidels. After a vision shows him Isabella is in danger, he meets a hermit who instructs him to dig up a giant sword upon which is a mysterious prophecy. Seeking to free Isabella and to become ruler of Otranto, he brings the sword and a host of men to Otranto, where he falls in love with Matilda and almost trades daughters with Manfred until the ghost of the hermit reminds him of his quest. Upon learning of Theodore’s true identity, he relinquishes his claim to Otranto and offers Isabella’s hand in marriage to Theodore. Frederic is an interesting character, and a kind of middle-ground between Manfred and Theodore: never as power- or lust-hungry as Manfred, but more susceptible to corruption than Theodore.

Frederic Quotes in The Castle of Otranto

The The Castle of Otranto quotes below are all either spoken by Frederic or refer to Frederic. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Castle of Otranto published in 2004.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Where’er a casque that suits this sword is found,
With perils is thy daughter compass’ed round;
Alfonso’s blood alone can save the maid,
And quiet a long restless prince’s shade.

Related Characters: Frederic (speaker), Theodore, Isabella, Alfonso
Related Symbols: The Giant Suit of Armor
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Thou art as much too good for this world,” said Isabella, “as Manfred is execrable—but think not, lady, that thy weakness shall determine for me. I swear, hear me all ye angels” — Stop, I adjure thee,” cried Hippolita; “remember thou dost not depend on thyself; thou hast a father.”

Related Characters: Isabella (speaker), Hippolita (speaker), Manfred, Frederic
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

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It is not ours to make election for ourselves: heaven, our fathers, and our husbands, must decide for us. Have patience until you hear what Manfred and Frederic have determined. If the marquis accepts Matilda’s hand, I know she will readily obey. Heaven may interpose and prevent the rest.

Related Characters: Hippolita (speaker), Manfred, Isabella, Frederic, Matilda
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

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Manfred, in the mean time, had broken his purpose to Frederic, and proposed the double marriage. That weak prince, who had been struck with the charms of Matilda, listened but too eagerly to the offer. He forgot his enmity to Manfred, whom he saw but little hope of dispossessing by force; and flattering himself that no issue might succeed from the union of his daughter with the tyrant, he looked upon his own succession to the principality as facilitated by wedding Matilda.

Related Characters: Manfred, Isabella, Frederic, Matilda
Page Number: Book Page 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

That prince had discovered so much passion for Matilda, that Manfred hoped to obtain all he wished by holding out or withdrawing his daughter’s charms, according as the marquis should appear more or less disposed to co-operate in his views.

Related Characters: Manfred, Frederic, Matilda
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

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Frederic Character Timeline in The Castle of Otranto

The timeline below shows where the character Frederic appears in The Castle of Otranto. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
Class, Comedy, and Tragedy Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
...is impatiently waiting for the marriage between his son and Isabella, the daughter of the Marquis of Vincenza . Hippolita, Manfred’s wife, previously noted several times the danger of an early marriage for... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
...a tower, the herald announces the reason for his arrival: on behalf of his lord Frederic, he is demanding the safe return of Frederic’s daughter, Isabella, who had fallen into Manfred’s... (full context)
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
Class, Comedy, and Tragedy Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
Back at the castle, Frederic’s champion has brought a host of knights and servants with him, as well as a... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
...at the castle, interrupting Manfred’s speech. Jerome then reveals to Manfred, as well as to Frederic’s knights, of Isabella’s flight from sanctuary. Manfred pretends that he himself sent Isabella to sanctuary... (full context)
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
...an armed knight approaches the mouth of the cave. Theodore, unaware of the arrival of Frederic’s knights, believes that this man is working for Manfred and badly wounds him. Only then... (full context)
Chapter 4
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
The castle’s doctors examine Frederic’s wounds, none of which are life-threatening. As he is being cared for, Frederic meets Hippolita... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
...wandered into Otranto and began to work as a farmhand in order to support himself. Frederic vouches for Theodore’s bravery, warmth, and honesty, after which they all retire to their rooms. (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
Hippolita, who believes that Otranto will fall into Frederic’s hands, announces that she has proposed to Manfred a marriage between Frederic and Matilda in... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
While Hippolita is conversing with Jerome, up at the castle Manfred is proposing to Frederic that they marry each other’s daughters. Frederic, tempted by the prospects of eventually ruling Otranto... (full context)
Chapter 5
Class, Comedy, and Tragedy Theme Icon
Delighted with his wife’s response, he quickly leaves to inform Frederic. On the way back to Frederic, though, he meets Bianca. Knowing that Bianca is Isabella’s... (full context)
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Manfred finally reaches Frederic, but just as he is about to tell Frederic his good news, Bianca bursts in.... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
Frederic, having learned of Manfred’s treacherous spying, now decides not to go through with the double... (full context)
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Once the banquet is over, Frederic desires Matilda more than ever and goes to see Hippolita in her oratory in order... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
...church to find her daughter but faints halfway there and is revived by Isabella and Frederic. In a gesture of daughterly devotion, Matilda clasps the hands of both her mother and... (full context)
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
...the earth rocks and the giant helmet clamors. Believing the end of days is here, Frederic and Jerome rush out to the court, dragging Theodore behind them. As soon as Theodore... (full context)
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
...to become a monk, while Hippolita retires to the other convent to become a nun. Frederic relinquishes his own claim to Otranto, and offers Theodore Isabella’s hand in marriage. Because Theodore... (full context)