Essay about Frankenstein Allusions

1689 WordsApr 26, 20117 Pages
In the gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley weaves an intricate web of allusions through her characters’ expedient desires for knowledge. Both the actions of Frankenstein, as well as his monster allude to John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Book eight of Milton’s story relates the tale of Satan’s temptation and Eve’s fateful hunger for knowledge. The infamous Fall of Adam and Eve introduced the knowledge of good and evil into a previously pristine world. With one swift motion sin was birthed, and the perfection of the earth was swept away, leaving pain and malevolence in its wake. The troubles of Victor Frankenstein begin with his quest for knowledge, and end where all end: death. The characters in Frankenstein are a conglomeration of those…show more content…
As he begins to understand his misplacement in the world he exclaims, “Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned? […] I tried to dispel [these reflections], but sorrow only increased with knowledge” (123). Just as the attainment of knowledge led to a loss of innocence in Frankenstein, the monster’s naivety was lost as well. Both characters can be likened to Eve and “The Fall” which occurred as she ate the forbidden fruit. After the monster attains knowledge, he symbolizes the death of innocence with the murder of William, blameless himself. Immediately following the loss of innocence and the gain of knowledge in the soul of the monster, he becomes analogous to Satan, God’s enemy, in Paradise Lost. “I gazed upon my victim, and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph” (144), he states as William lies dead at his feet. The monster even recognizes that he is like Satan. He says, “I ought to be they Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel [Satan], whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed” (103). Just as the monster parallels Frankenstein in his quest for knowledge, he also does so in his being as Satan. He is the personification of the devil that is inside all in the form of sin. The monster and the devil share an experience in which it is obvious that one parallels the other. In igMalice, and with rapine sweet bereav’d His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought: That space the
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