The Castle of Otranto


Horace Walpole

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Ricardo Character Analysis

Alfonso’s chamberlain, usurper of Otranto, father of Manuel, grandfather of Manfred, and great-grandfather of Matilda and Conrad. In the Holy Land during the Crusades, Ricardo poisons his lord Alfonso and forges a will saying that he, Ricardo, should inherit Otranto. On his way back to Otranto, Ricardo was shipwrecked and made a deal with St. Nicholas in order to survive. He would build a church and two convents in Otranto in return for rulership of Otranto “until the rightful owner should be grown too large to inhabit the castle, and as long as issue male from Ricardo’s loins should remain to enjoy it.” The punishment for Ricardo’s sin, then, is only delayed, and is eventually visited upon Manfred. Ricardo’s own portrait on the wall of Otranto seems to symbolize this, as when Manfred first searches for Isabella after her escape, Ricardo’s image leaves his portrait and leads Manfred down a path that dead ends when a door slams in front of him.

Ricardo Quotes in The Castle of Otranto

The The Castle of Otranto quotes below are all either spoken by Ricardo or refer to Ricardo. 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
Chapter 1 Quotes

Manfred rose to pursue her; when the moon, which was now up, and gleamed in at the opposite casement, 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…. “Heaven nor hell shall impede my designed!” said Manfred, advancing again to seize the princess. At that instant, the portrait of his grandfather, which hung over the bench where they had been sitting, uttered a deep sigh, and heaved its breast.

Related Characters: Manfred (speaker), Isabella, Ricardo
Related Symbols: The Giant Suit of Armor
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ricardo Character Timeline in The Castle of Otranto

The timeline below shows where the character Ricardo appears in The Castle of Otranto. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
...heaven nor hell will stop him. At that moment, while Isabella escapes, a painting of Manfred’s grandfather moves out of its portrait and leads Manfred to a room, only to have the... (full context)
Chapter 5
Humor, the Gothic, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Divine vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Lineage and Leadership Theme Icon
Gender and Marriage Theme Icon
...the church and reveals the story of how he came to rule Otranto. His grandfather Ricardo had been Alfonso’s chamberlain and, during the Crusades, murdered Alfonso and then forged Alfonso’s will... (full context)