In Mary Shelley’s frankenstein, a monster is created from a combination of human cadavers and animal parts. The creature is first brought to life by electricity and then abandoned for many years before finally being discovered during an Arctic expedition. In frankenstein poetry, the same idea can be seen as poets use frankenstein as a metaphor for what they are going through in their own lives that has made them into something different than who they were originally.
Mary Shelley was deeply influenced by romantic writers such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge while writing Frankenstein. Percy Bysshe Shelley, her beloved husband, had a significant impact on her. Although the gloomy and frightening elements of Frankenstein appear to contrast with the bright colors and themes in such poetry, there is a visible connection established in the text between the works of such poets and the whole narrative of Frankenstein.
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Shelly’s use of the word “fear” in this context is significant. Critics have noted that his usage of it indicates a much greater sophistication than other romantic writers’. Some critics, such as Guyer (2006, p.77), claim that Frankenstein is considerably more sophisticated than other romantic writers’ prose because to this influence. This paper aims to assess the impact of Shelley’s poetic texts, as utilized in ‘Frankenstein,’ on informing and enriching the tale.
Analysis of Poetic Texts in Frankenstein
As argued by Fite and Bloom (1985, p.24), when Shelley is presented in ‘Frankenstein,’ her goal is to achieve transcendence, which is similar to that of most other romantic poets. This element follows in the sense that it does not emanate from her personal life or narrative voice, which drives her plot.
Poetry, as used in the text, advances the story’s progress. For example, the line “or if I should return… as the ‘Ancient Mariner’ ” (Shelley, 2004, p. 6), and the lines that follow from Coleridge’s poem titled The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are included in Victor Frankenstein’s narration. “He who walks on a lonely road in dread and terror, And having once turned around continues his walk, And does not look behind him again; Because he knows a terrifying monster treads there” (Coleridge, 2004, p. 36). The poem by Coleridge serves as an important element of the plot because it informs the tale’s narrative.
This poem tells the tragic tale of a mariner who murdered an albatross and was thereafter doomed to endure misery. At the end of the story, his trip is totally wrecked. The poem was highly thematic in order to emphasize how crucial and lovely everything on earth is. Mary Shelley incorporates this poem into both direct quotation and parallelization in Frankenstein.
The poem is used in the story by Shelley to demonstrate her respect for romantic verse, which influences the rhythm of her narrative. The poem blends with the narrative, providing the reader with a context for the text as a romantic tale. Shelley employs Coleridge’s poem at various intervals throughout the tale in an effort to connect the misguided monster to the ancient mariner.
Shelley’s use of the Shelley and Byron biography as a springboard for her novel allows her to link it to one of the most genuine Romantic writings. In addition, the poem establishes a link between Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton, as well as adding value to the text. The degree to which Victor Frankenstein is estranged only a few moments after creating his monster corresponds with those drawn by Coleridge in his poem.
Shelley employs poetry in her writing to enhance the story. This is largely achieved by employing the emotional impact of poetry, allowing readers to get a deeper insight into the emotions and events of the novel’s characters. Shelley uses Coleridge’s poem to allow her readers to sympathize with Victor Frankenstein’s internal turmoil.
Similarly, Shelley uses poetry to produce the same result. This is seen in the lines from Coleridge’s poem that follow (Shelley, 2004, p.137). “We rest; a dream has the power to poison sleep. We rise; one wandering thought pollutes the day. We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep; Embrace loving woe or cast our cares away; it is all the same: for whether it be joy or sorrow, man’s yesterday may never be like his tomorrow” (Coleridge)
Another well-known romantic poem that Mary Shelley utilized in her novel Frankenstein is ‘Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth. One of the ways she does so is by employing sections of the poem to reflect on Victor Frankenstein’s experiences as he progressed from youth to adulthood, both in terms of his persona and those who inspired him.
Furthermore, Shelley uses the poem to enhance and contextualize the narrative of Frankenstein. According to Guyer (2006, p.78), it is also worth noting that the function of Henry Clerval in Frankenstein’s tale is to expose what Victor Frankenstein’s childhood would have been if he had not engaged in a youthfulness comparable to that depicted in Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.”
Throughout the poem “Tintern Abbey,” the persona expresses a strong emotion of nostalgia as he recalls his youth years, as well as his youthful interest in exploring his natural surroundings. He says, “I bounded o’er the hills, by the banks of deep rivers and lonely streams, Wherever nature led” (Shelley, 2004, p. 113).
The same curiosity that characterized Victor Frankenstein’s character led him to devise the experiment that resulted in the creation of the monster who would kill his family later in the tale. Despite being in close contact with nature, Wordsworth’s persona came to the conclusion that he was acting out of “the hour of thoughtless youth” (Shelley, 2004, p. 114).
The poem’s persona resolves not to pursue the complex aspects of his natural environment but rather to focus on the obvious elements that people may see with ease. The ‘Tintern Abbey’ section describes foolishness. They also reflect a superficial nature. In comparison to the youth character in the poem, young Victor Frankenstein, as described by Shelley, has been driven “in a fit of enthusiastic madness” in his efforts to discover scientific knowledge (Shelley, 2004, p. 110).
Victor Frankenstein has spent a significant quantity of his time and energy contemplating science. However, he does not seem to be concerned about the consequences of this on his work. Victor Frankenstein is willing to pursue science without considering its ultimate goal, similar to the individual in “Tintern Abbey.”
Shelley employs the figure of Clerval in “Frankenstein” to represent what Victor Frankenstein would have accomplished in his youth if he had not followed the path that he did, similar to the persona in “Tintern Abbey.” Both Clerval and Victor Frankenstein were “alive to every new scene…joyful when they saw the beauties of the setting sun, and happier when they beheld it rise to recommence a new day at the time of their youth,” according to Shelley (Shelley, 2004, p.113).
Despite the fact that both of these characters were eager to the passage of days as children, their motives for such a desire were very different. While Clerval puts all of his youthful energy into attempts to increase his knowledge and education, Victor Frankenstein uses his scientific expertise in an unethical manner. Victor Frankenstein is never seen idle or resting; instead, he works constantly and continuously until it is too dark for him to continue working.
After the recklessness of his youth, together with the worries of his maturity, emerge during Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.” The persona says, “His wild ecstasies have matured into a calm pleasure” (Shelley, 2004, p.116). “When Frankenstein matures as an adult, he comes to the understanding that his juvenile actions were not only wrong but also harmful in that they restricted him from fully experiencing the obvious natural world,” says Guyer (2006, p. 79). This is similar to Victor Frankenstein’s realization after his creation goes out of hand. The monster isn’t just a danger to his own life; he’s also a threat to everyone else in society.
The changes in Victor Frankenstein’s life are clearly demonstrated by the comparison Shelley made using Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.” In addition to this, Shelley makes use of both Victor Frankenstein and Henry Clerval to allude to the opposing decisions made in youth when she is inspired by the same poem.
Mary Shelley’s husband had a significant influence on her wife’s work. Percy Shelley, in fact, is said to have written Frankenstein under the pseudonym Mary Shelley (Guyer, 2006, p. 79). However, it became clear that Mary Shelley wrote the novel herself, drawing her inspiration from her contemporaries and husband. The book’s poetic language is attributed to Mary Shelley’s interactions with both her spouse and other people while she was writing it.
Mary Shelley uses a unique method of communicating with people by utilizing poetic quotations in her play “Frankenstein.” The impact that Mary Shelley derived from poets such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and others is evident throughout Frankenstein (Guyer, 2006, p.77).
As a literary technique, Shelley employs poetry in the narrative to meet various objectives, including informing the tale and distinguishing her work from that of her contemporaries. Shelley alludes to such poems throughout the book, even going so far as to quote them directly in the narrative as part of the account. One of the ways this works is by allowing readers to connect with events unfolding in characters’ lives in relation to those found in the poems.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a major step forward in the 19th century, being considered one of the finest modern horror stories. Throughout the novel, Mary Shelley explores and invents various themes, but for me, the primary and most important ones are Feminism and religion.
The name “The Modern Prometheus” was originally used for the book. This is significant in terms of the religious element of the story. Prometheus was a gigantic in Greek mythology; he stole knowledge from the gods to give back to humanity, which is comparable to Victor Frankenstein wanting to be like God when creating life. In this book, Victor Frankenstein regards himself as equal with God because he doubts His power in bringing about life.
He toys with the building of life by creating a creature from many different human limbs. This on its own questions God’s authority and position as if Victor is equal to or greater than the power that God truly has. Throughout the book, Victor’s actions question God’s power and status. Biblical allusions appear in a variety of forms, from quotations to pictures, throughout the novel. Mary Shelley was always an enthusiastic writer of nature and its beauty, which can be seen throughout the narrative.
I believe that nature’s beauty is an essential element of the novel, much like it was for many romantic writers and poets in the romantic period. This nearly implies that Mary Shelley was implying something more than simply that nature is lovely; instead, she may have been implying that humans possess a naturally attractive side but also that they can destroy the world’s natural beauty and miss it.
This program is based on numerous other poets from the romantic period. Robert Browning’s’ poem “My Last Duchess,” for example, features a character who might be compared to Victor Frankenstein in that he thinks himself to be superior than God or life itself, as evidenced by the line “The dropping of daylight in the west.” This line is particularly significant to my argument because this guy seems to believe that the previous duchess he was talking about should have looked at him over the sunset.
He believes he is actually superior to the sun, which of course our world revolves around, or human life itself would not exist. He thinks he’s metaphorically the sun, therefore the world, including the duchess’ attention, should revolve around him. Like Victor Frankenstein, he also toys with life from a line in which “That’s my last duchess painted on the wall,” looking as if she were alive.
We immediately infer that the speaker has murdered the duchess or gotten rid of her in some manner as soon as we hear him complain about how difficult it is to live with her. This is due to his many reasons, including her kind nature, animals and blushing from compliments. We realize that the speaker may be psychologically and emotionally unstable. As a reader of Frankenstein, I eventually get the impression that he was also quite mentally disturbed, as he explains a lot about his youth and what he was like when he was a kid, “The world.” He states, to me was a secret which I sought to decipher. “This is interesting because from an early age, clearly Victor liked playing God and had always had this mentality since he can remember.”
The addition of religious iconography, starting when the creature is created by Victor, is also fascinating. He is considered to be horrible and frightful from the instant that Victor runs away from his blunder. I believe that the creature takes on Lucifer’s or the devil’s personality in parallel to Victor seeing himself as God. This is how Victor depicts the creature, however in my opinion, the animal lashed out at those who were nearest and most significant to his creator, like Lucifer and God did in their tale.
Lucifer was a God-made creature who served as second in command to assist God, but he committed the ultimate sin against God, resulting in his being cast into hell. This is a major biblical deception throughout the book, as Paradise Lost by John Milton was a big source of inspiration. The creature escapes from confinement and enters the forest, where he reads and obsesses over the poem Paradise Lost, comparing himself to characters within it.
The first character we meet in Paradise Lost is actually Satan, who was formerly known as Lucifer and was one of the most gorgeous angels. He famously stated that he would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven and was one of the most attractive figures. This is a significant statement on Victor’s character: when he discovers his love for dissectioning human bodies and the secrets of nature, he no longer wants to study at university but rather to write his own laws and goals in other words, he knows considerably more than any of the professors. As a result, the creature is born.
In the book, there are a number of biblical allusions, including the creature referring to Adam in the tale Adam and Eve. This is due to his being made after him wanting only what God had from God; God. We see this reflected in Victor’s statement: “My state was far different from his in every other aspect, just as Adam’s was,” according to the quote. In the creatures’ eyes, Victor is their god; he has knowledge and power that he can use against his creator.
The monster explains that unless Victor devises a female companion for him, he will continue to murder all of Victor’s family. This is important to the tale because I believe the creature now understands that he has been created, therefore he must have his “Eve.” He next goes on to describe his garden of Eden, in which he would like to spend time with Eve, his newly created wife. He simply wanted a feeling of togetherness and belonging like Adam did.
In conclusion, I believe that one of the novel’s strengths is the way in which women are depicted. This is emphasized even more since the book was written by a woman. During the 19th century, opportunities for women were severely restricted as they lived in a male-dominated society. Mary Shelley frequently had to apologize for her work because she did not want to detract from her partner Byron or imply that she didn’t intend on earning money from it; it was simply a pastime during her spare time.
This is seen in the novel’s content, for example, when Shelley demonstrates that females are more of a possession than a partner, which is emphasized especially when the creature thinks Eve should be created for Adam and he needs his Eve. The uncreated female creature is thus forced to take on both subjective and objective roles, meaning she would be made for his own enjoyment with her. In other words, before she was even formed, he had already planned out her life for her.
There are more parallels between the creature and Victor than either of them is aware of metaphorically speaking, and Victor has given another facet to himself in the creature because one major trait is that Victor also determines Elizabeth’s fate by deciding she will marry him and they will be together after he has gone on his journey of discovery. It’s also essential to note that Shelley depicts women as needing to rely heavily on men for their survival.
The novel is solely told from a male perspective, demonstrating that no woman in the book has enough substance to speak, which reflects the period correctly because Mary Shelley was nearly overshadowed by her husband’s career. Elizabeth is seen to Victor in the same light as the greatest woman for him, and in general. You can’t help but view this as a consequence of Elizabeth’s apparent adoption of the role of Caroline: Victor’s mother who died, since she is a housewife who cares for the children and awaits Victor’s return so that they may marry each other and be husband and wife.
The difference in the quantity of light Elizabeth receives throughout the book as opposed to all of the male characters causes it to be more difficult for me to feel victor’s sadness due on her character not receiving much attention. The concept of subjective and objective roles in men and women is quite comparable, as well as those of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning. The speaker, who we expect is from a wealthy and well-respected family, appears to be at a gathering where he is conversing with another guy; in light of the last lines of the poem “I gave orders; then all smiles vanished entirely.”
The personification of a character in this example is a man who finds the body of the woman he loved and believes her to be dead. This automatically makes the reader think that she is deceased, as well as the fact that he had control and power over her life, whether she was allowed to live or not. The terrible conclusion to what we believe was a life of unnecessary demands in which the speaker would offer his duchess occurs when he takes on the subjective role while discussing his last duchess, for example, using possessive pronouns like “my” throughout lines such as “That’s my final Duchess painted on the wall.”
I believe that something Mr. Speaker was afraid of, which may have fueled his anger and disgust toward his former duchess, was her potential to challenge his masculinity, as seen in the lines “she looked on, her looks went everywhere,” and “she thanked men.” This implies that she had some sort of power over the speaker, and he worried she would be able to act like a typical seducing woman and eventually make a fool out of him if she had the capacity to do so.
During the Victorian era, any guy who was lied to or whose spouse cheated on him was labeled a cuckold; the most disgraceful and demasculinizing term a man could be. Another method he wouldn’t want a woman to take away his masculinity is by saying “who’d stoop to blame” from the verb “to stoop.” I suppose he means instead of asking nicely for his duchess to stop what she’s doing in her actions or give him an explanation as to why she’s making him angry that he would rather put a stop to it himself ultimately by murdering her.
This implies that the duke still has control over the duchess even after death. This idea is repeated throughout many of Browning’s poems, including “Porphyria’s Lover,” in which we see a male desire to maintain their power and manhood over women. where we believe Porphyria is a woman of high class and status, with the speaker being a secret lover of hers. He holds the objective position until he strangled her with her own hair at the end of the poem.
In death, the roles switched with him assuming the subjective position in light of her death, and he always has control over her, just like the duke. Browning is similar to other romantic period writers such as Shelley who likes to incorporate natural scenery in his works; he does so particularly effectively by employing pathetic fallacy in his work. The lover of Porphyria begins with the line “The sullen wind was soon alert.”
“They were a swarm that knifed the elm trees for spite.” The weather is personified as well, setting the tone for the poem, which we can assume will be dark and frightening in some respect. I believe that the weather in this poem is almost an alter ego of the speaker because it parallels what Shelley likes to do in her writing, including Frankenstein However, with nature beauty and the weather being such a change from Victor Frankenstein’s lab.)
The romantic period in writing was one that transformed many writers’ work since Frankenstein was such a revolutionary first major gothic novel written by a woman, and it still scares readers to this day. With poets like Byron, Browning, and Wordsworth being quite legendary for bringing other elements into their writings instead of religion, as opposed to preceding eras. Wordsworth, like many other authors in the Romantic period, sought to avoid including religion in his work and instead focus on nature and human nature.
“Every man has his secret sorrows that the world is unaware of; and we frequently accuse a person of being cold when he or she is really sad,” said Henry Wadsworth. These unknown pains torment two distinct characters in two different novels. Victor Frankenstein suffers from guilt as he keeps his monster at bay; Samuel Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a cautionary tale told by a mariner who knows the truth behind his story.
Both works employ strong components of Gothic writing to express the connection between Creator and creation. Shelley and Coleridge examine knowledge, desolation, and nature in similar ways while creating a gloomy and dark timeless drama. Shelley also explores the myth of Prometheus, as well as how people may misuse knowledge. The mariner believes he has just taken a life because he is fascinated with knowledge from an early age; Victor Frankenstein profanes the sacred right to give life by desecrating it. In his youth, Victor Frankenstein was interested in learning.
Through his reading of the cave painting and in response to Byron’s narrative, Victor is inspired to pursue and create the monster. Victor recognizes that “destiny was too strong,” (Shelley 97) as fate drove him towards a hunger for knowledge. The Promethean idea is emphasized in his statement; Prometheus created man and gave him wisdom.