Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein '

1646 Words Aug 16th, 2015 7 Pages
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a mishmash of stories within stories within a story, and several other texts are referenced within this amalgamation of literature. The intertextual links made in Frankenstein help to provide the reader with a greater insight into the mind of Mary Shelley and her most famous work. References to the text Paradise lost and Greek mythology in the development of characters adds depth to a tale of creation and destruction, causing the questions Shelley asks about humanity to resonate far more poignantly with the reader.
Frankenstein in many ways acts as a mirror, reflecting Milton’s Paradise Lost explicitly throughout the text. Milton’s purpose in writing Paradise Lost was to “justify the way of God to man”, this was successful in the Restoration period but during the Romantic period people were not convinced. Romantics reinterpreted Paradise Lost as the Creator being the cause of all suffering and evil, William Blake put it as “Milton was secretly of the devil’s party without knowing it.” Shelley’s novel mirrors this idea of justification, in that Victor attempts to justify his own endeavours. However although Walton accepts Victor’s decisions the reader does not instead empathising with the Monster. Satan in Paradise Lost states that it is “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”, suggesting to the reader that the idyllic paradise depicted in Paradise Lost is not enough. Satan becomes engrossed by selfish motives much like Victor who…
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