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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 416

This presence of mind, joined to the frankness of the youth, staggered Manfred. He even felt a disposition towards pardoning one who had been guilty of no crime. Manfred was not one of those savage tyrants who wanton in cruelty unprovoked. The circumstances of his fortune had given an asperity to his temper, which was naturally humane; and his virtues were always ready to operate, when his passions did not obscure his reason.

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Theodore impresses Manfred, which shows that Manfred has not turned to complete evil at the beginning of the novel. The narrator tells us the Manfred was not born evil but became so because of circumstances. The novel also makes a plea for rationality—Manfred's emotions overcoming his reason are his undoing.

The next transition of his soul was to exquisite villainy.

Manfred does become a villain—and he doesn't do it by half measures, as the term "exquisite villainy" indicates. He is a character we love to hate.

It is sinful to cherish those whom heaven has doomed to destruction. A tyrant's race must be swept from the earth to the third and fourth generation.

Jerome, the friar, tries to warn his son away for Matilda, the woman Theodore loves, because she is part of a family fated to be destroyed.

The hand! the giant! the hand!—support me! I am terrified out of my senses.

This is one piece of evidence of the supernatural in this novel, a tale which established the supernatural as an element of the Gothic. Here, Bianca, Matilda's servant, tells of seeing the ghost's giant hand,...

(The entire section contains 416 words.)

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