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"Frankenstein" By Mary Shelley Essay

809 words - 4 pages

Frankenstein is considered to be the greatest Gothic Romantic Novel. It is also generally thought of as the first science fiction novel. I have always been impressed and amazed by the fact that Mary wrote this novel when she was nineteen years old. What experiences and powers of imagination led to such an innovative and disturbing work?The idea for the novel arose in the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley was staying at Lord Byron's villa in Geneva Switzerland. Not only did Mary incorporate experiences from that summer into her novel, she also utilized the sources that she had been reading and studying. Two in particular were the Metamorphoses by Ovid and Paradise Lost by Milton.It is believed ...view middle of the document...

It is difficult, but is well worth the effort. I find that it is helpful to have a copy of Bullfinch's Mythology when reading it. Almost all of Milton's mythological references are explained in Bullfinch.)The influence of Milton's Paradise Lost can be seen directly from the epigraph of the 1818 edition of Frankenstein. "Did I request thee, Maker from my clay to mould me man? Did I solicit thee, from darkness to promote me?"The spirit of Paradise Lost permeates Frankenstein throughout the novel. On page 240 the monster says; "The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone"Three parallel themes from the two works arise from these quotes: the molding of a living being from clay the growth of malice and the desire for revenge the isolation of the hostile being and the consequent increase of his hostilityIt is easy to establish Mary Shelley's knowledge of Paradise Lost. The work was admired in the Godwin household. Mary and Percy read it in 1815 and again in November 1816. Her journal states that Shelley read it aloud while she was writing...

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