• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Frankenstein and Paradise Lost

Extracts from this document...


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Explore the ways Mary Shelley uses Paradise Lost in her novel; 'Frankenstein.' Shelley's story of a creature created by Victor Frankenstein has striking similarities to Milton's 'Paradise Lost' from the outset, as the second letter in the novel that documents Frankenstein's misfortune, is sent from 'Archangel'. Satan was an archangel before he was banished from heaven for challenging God, and we know that he was supposedly perfect. Frankenstein sought to make 'a human being in perfection', although both the creature and Satan fell from grace at the hand of their creators. The opening line of Paradise Lost underpins the correlation between the tales; 'Paradise Lost' opens with the lines, 'Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit, Of that forbidden tree,' this is referring to Adam who took forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge and was therefore exiled by God. This story of Eden and mans downfall has obviously influenced Shelley as Frankenstein's pursuit of 'nature to her hiding places' is what led to the demise of himself and his family. ...read more.


It is Satan and the monster who initially invoke the readers compassion, as the monster seems of a benevolent nature as he watched the 'beloved' De Lacy family and took 'pleasure' in aiding their labours. He also shows altruistic behaviour in saving a drowning girl, and lighting a fire to warm his creator, making him possibly more sympathetic than Frankenstein, who forgot his family in his aspirations to 'become greater than his nature will allow.' The monster states, after reading Paradise Lost and other literature he has found after eating the metaphorical apple, that 'sorrow only increased with knowledge', as he became aware from the De Lacey's, of such things as love and acceptance that he came to long for. His good intent could also be interpreted on his hearing Saphie play music that he found 'so entrancingly beautiful that they at once drew tears of sorrow and of delight from my eyes.' Satan's ruin also came from his pursuit of knowledge, leading both 'men' to their exile from the people they sought acceptance from. ...read more.


As the monster lives in a hut, we are reminded that he doesn't only live outside physically, but emotionally as he is a mere voyeur of family life while watching the De Lacys, and this social exclusion is to blame for his murderous behaviour, again relating to Satan who was excluded my his creator. We could again relate this to Satan who is looking for earth and is also 'racked with deep despair,' as are Shelley's characters. Frankenstein also resembles God, as he created his own version of Adam, and the monster that he constantly refers to as 'fiend' and 'devil' reminds him; 'You, my creator, abhor me..' his plea resounds through the humanity of every reader who has ever felt alone or incomplete, but these feelings however are to be changed as the monster commits heinous crimes against the humanity he once 'longed for,' and on his final rejection he cries; 'oh, earth...the mildness of my nature had fled, and all within me was turned to bitterness and gall.' This is when the role of God is transferred from Frankenstein and to the monster who will now decide his fate. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jo Devanny Frankenstein English Literature 1 1/30/2009 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The imagery is characterized by Ondaatje's "preoccupation with romantic exoticism and multiculturalism." Rather than offer a narrator telling a straightforward story, Ondaatje turns the romance into an unlikely mystery, revealing hidden facets of character and identity as the novel progresses.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of monsters in Bram Stokers Dracula and Mary Shelleys ...

    . to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is. But alas!' In light of this declaration, Dracula becomes more then just a monster of unfathomable evil.

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which the writers of 'Frankenstein' and 'The Picture ...

    It is arguable that due to Frankenstein's actions that the monster turns to violence and hatred, claiming 'I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed'21. Like Satan, the monster seeks revenge by destroying what his creator loves

  2. Characters similarities in The Mayor of Casterbridge

    especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience, and thus bringing these two sensations into their proper balance. In real life, Aristotle explained, men are sometimes too much addicted to pity or fear, sometimes too little; tragedy brings them back to a virtuous and happy mean.

  1. An exploration of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World

    In both novels, the control of history is another method used to subjugate the population of a society. In 1984, Ingsoc or English socialism was an aspect of the past. The Party has the ability to control and manipulate every source of information.

  2. Ambition in "The Duchess of Malfi" and "Paradise Lost"

    "He trusted to have equalled the most high, if he opposed; and with ambitious aim against the throne and monarchy of God" highlights the ambition of Lucifer to gain equal power to that of God, which has caused his downfall to be banished into the depths of Hell.

  1. Comparison between scientific advancements in Frankenstein and Dorian Gray

    This is similarly obvious in Wilde's Dorian Gray, as Dorian is an envied, beautiful man, but on discovery that he will one day lose his assets and look 'different', his personality significantly alters and he transforms into a monster. Another theme that is present in both novels is that of discovery.

  2. Otherness in The merchant of Venice, The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

    Having kept silent for more than seven years, Dimmesdale finally has his faith put to the ultimate test and, having agreed to leave Boston with Hester and their child, finds the strength to face his responsibility and confess before he dies.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work