The novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley contains several romanticist themes, including the enthusiastic and almost surreal characterization of nature. Additionally, Shelley's characters are driven by larger-than-life emotions, another staple component of romanticist fiction. Finally, there is the call for humans to press the boundaries of their own existence and understanding.Know More
In "Frankenstein," the reader finds considerable overlap between many of the themes mentioned above. For example, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, states at one point that "no one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me on, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success." Here, the elements of extreme emotion and natural phenomena are combined in a single narrative sweep.
In another passage, the reader encounters Frankenstein approaching the borders, not only of life and death, but of all human understanding, saying "life and death seemed to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through..." In this excerpt, Shelley exhibits the romanticist impulse to play with the notion of forbidden knowledge, in this case with an attempt to return dead human matter to living form. This is not only a romanticist feature generally, but one that also informs the Gothic dimension of the story.
Also connected to the idea of human knowledge and its limits is the romanticist rebellion against the Enlightenment's certainty in the merits of science, human reason and accomplishment. Through his lush vanity, Victor Frankenstein is driven to an unreal confidence in his own intellect and abilities, something that the ensuing chaos and disaster wrought by the unleashed monster ultimately dismantle.Learn more about Classics
The concept of dangerous knowledge is used throughout Mary Shelley’s novel "Frankenstein" as pain and destruction follow Victor until his last days. An article on Washington State University’s website details how Shelley demonstrates the danger of an unquenchable thirst for knowledge by allowing the creature to destroy everything important to Victor.Full Answer >
The novel of "Frankenstein" portrays the creature as a sympathetic, tragic figure who desires only the affection of his creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, while the film version, which stars Boris Karloff as the creature, suggests that the creature is monstrous, violent and evil. The 1931 film "Frankenstein" is the most famous adaptation of Mary Shelley's book.Full Answer >
The gothic elements of Mary Shelley's novel, "Frankenstein," include supernatural motifs, medieval architecture and mysterious aspects of human nature. Other gothic elements involve the desire for knowledge, the doppelganger, the monster and the eventual fall of man.Full Answer >
The most famous examples of hamartia include the actions of Hamlet in Shakespeare's play of the same name, the behavior of Oedipus in "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles and the conduct of Victor in "Frankenstein," a novel by Mary Shelley. Hamartia is a literary term meaning "a tragic flaw."Full Answer >