Shelly's "Frankenstein" and Milton's "Paradise Lost" Essay

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Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein" narrates a story about a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his creation of a monster set apart from all worldly creatures. Frankenstein's creation parallels Milton's "Paradise Lost" and God's creation of man; Victor Frankenstein is symbolic of God and the monster is symbolic of Adam. The parallel emphasizes the moral limitations of mankind through Victor Frankenstein and the disjunction and correlation with "Paradise Lost". Shelly links the two stories together through Victor's creation of the monster and his "fall" from humanity which I will focus on initially. More importantly, the main divergence of the two works lies in the representation of God in "Paradise Lost" and Victor in "Frankenstein". Both the…show more content…
Some scholars see "Frankenstein" as a negative critique of the progress during Shelly's literary era, when there were many scientific discoveries and attempts to "improve upon nature." These "improvements" were looked upon by the romantics as insufficient and deviating from what God or nature had already given humanity. I do not profess to know the socio-political stance of Shelly and the technological progression of her period, but I do believe that through "Frankenstein", she focuses on human limitations to bring us back to earth, in a sense. In Milton's epic, God is represented as omnipotent; Victor Frankenstein does not have this ability, a human moral limitation brought out through the juxtapositions of the texts. In "Paradise Lost", God is described as "the Omnipotent Eternal Father" (188), and knows that men will fall and explains to Jesus what will occur. On the other hand, Victor is not omnipotent and cannot see what will become of his creation. The monster even mentions God's omnipotence in his narration to his creator about his reading of "Paradise Lost", "It moved every feeling of wonder and awe, that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of exciting" (74). Conversely, Victor's story to Walton about his years spent working on the creature do not include
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