The Character Of Elizabeth By Mary Shelley

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Additionally, the character of Elizabeth, originally cited as a blood cousin to Victor but in the 1831 revision was downgraded to an orphan as to dispel the notion of incest, which was more acceptable in the Romantic Age than in the Victorian Era, possesses all the classical signs of a faultless, beautiful, and largely ignored love interest to Victor Frankenstein’s charming and thirsty for knowledge male persona. Elizabeth’s true purpose of the novel, other than to be sacrificed so Victor will finally face his monster once and for all, is seen as a possession by Victor even from a young age (p. 21) which was a common viewpoint, of women throughout the Romantic and even the Victorian ages of literature. To view Elizabeth in such a manner…show more content…
However, the silhouette of the stereotypical female form remains the same in both works: it is a woman who serves as a point plot for a man and is taken at only her aesthetic value. As Shelley focuses her moments of critique of gender in terms of social equality from the male perspective, Oscar Wilde offers more of an overarching critique of the female and their ‘proper’ place in the society. It could be said that Wilde intentionally made the main characters in his play caricatures of the female form in order to draw attention to the social order within the Victorian age. By giving no particular time frame other than “the present” (p. 6), we must look to the time in which Wilde wrote and published the play, in 1895 during the Victorian age of literature, in order to gain perspective into the realm of the female and their roles in society at the time. The Importance of Being Earnest, while it focuses around male characters like John and Algernon, the true critique of gender comes through with the female characters of Cecily, Gwendolen, and even Lady Bracknell and their purpose in relationship to the male characters. While the Victorian Age of literature is not heralded for its equal treatment of male and female characters, it does mark and interesting shift between the ideas of the role of
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