In the gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley weaves an elaborate 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 eventful cravings for knowledge. The notorious Fall of Adam and Eve presented the knowledge of excellent and evil into a formerly beautiful world. With one swift motion sin was birthed, and the perfection of the earth was swept away, leaving discomfort and malevolence in its wake.
The difficulties of Victor Frankenstein start with his quest for knowledge, and end where all end: death. The characters in Frankenstein are a conglomeration of those in Paradise Lost. Frankenstein parallels Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as well as God, while his beast acts an Eve/Satan mix. The most predominant style of this novel is the characters’ ever-present look for understanding. It is this thirst for learning that stimulates Frankenstein’s psychotic attempts to enliven inanimate tissue, eventually causing his death. Frankenstein, in this way, mirrors the character of Eve in Paradise Lost.
Eve lives her most tranquil life in the Garden of Eden, her only job being to tend the plants in the Garden which she loves so much. In the unique Frankenstein, Frankenstein resides in an Eden of his own, though macabre in nature. His “garden of life” is really most morbidly and really a garden of death; a cemetery. It is there where he works by night to gather the monstrous pieces for his death-defying animal. In the real Garden of Eden, Eve is advised by God that she is not to eat from the prohibited Tree. Nevertheless, being lured by Satan himself she is required to make an age-old choice, one in which all understand the outcome.
Satan lures her with the possibility of understanding, saying,” […] your Eyes that seem so cleere,/ Yet are but dim, will perfetly be then/ Op’nd and cleerd, and ye will be as Gods,/ Understanding both Excellent and Evil as they know”(PL 8. 706-708). In Frankenstein, Victor is an “Eve,” meddling affairs scheduled for God alone, and looking for a prohibited understanding. This knowledge is the ability to develop life, and, in the process, bring death to Death. He relates that” [he] may in procedure of time […] restore life where death had appa -0 rently dedicated the body to corruption” (55 ). This search to put an end to Death is Eve’s intention too.
Satan informs her that” [she] shall not Pass away” if she consumes of the fruit, but only lose her humanity to become a god, if death be thought about that. Simply as Eve is informed that she will be a god if she partakes of the fruit of knowledge, Frankenstein works to produce a being to worship him as a god. He states “A brand-new species would bless me as its developer and source; many delighted and outstanding natures would owe their being to me” (55 ). The production of the beast draws some parallels between Frankenstein and God in Paradise Lost. Frankenstei; [p [n’s act of “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter” (53) is certainly an act of trying to make himself a god.
It is not the way of nature for guys to produce life, however he has actually done it, therefore he is a god to his animal. Likewise, simply as God developed male in his type, Frankenstein, knowingly or not, developed his monster in the type of himself, or more properly, his sin. He states, “I thought about the being whom I had cast upon mankind, […] my own spirit let loose from the tomb, and required to ruin all that was dear to me” (78 ). Within Frankenstein, there are many circumstances where the actions of Frankenstein’s monster mirror those of Victor Frankenstein himself, reinforcing this idea.
The monster acts out the really search for knowledge that as soon as afflicted Frankenstein. His “Garden of Eden” is the forest in which he makes his house in his life’s beginning. It is here that he enjoys, owing to the truth that he is naive still, and has actually not yet lost his innocence. When he starts to attain knowledge, nevertheless, he begins to comprehend the truth of the world, pain, and ridicule. As he begins to understand his misplacement worldwide he exclaims, “Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all guys got away and whom all males disowned? …] I tried to resolve [these reflections], but grief just increased with knowledge” (123 ). Just as the achievement of understanding caused a loss of innocence in Frankenstein, the monster’s naivety was lost also. Both characters can be compared to Eve and “The Fall” which occurred as she ate the forbidden fruit. After the monster achieves understanding, he represents the death of innocence with the murder of William, blameless himself. Right away following the loss of innocence and the gain of knowledge in the soul of the monster, he ends up being comparable to Satan, God’s enemy, in Paradise Lost. I gazed upon my victim, and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish victory” (144 ), he mentions as William lies dead at his feet. The monster even acknowledges that he is like Satan. He states, “I should be they Adam, however I am rather the fallen angel [Satan], whom thou drivest from happiness for no misdeed” (103 ). Just as the monster parallels Frankenstein in his mission for understanding, he likewise 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 apparent that a person parallels the other.
In igMalice, and with rapine sweet bereav ‘d His fierceness of the intense intent it brought: That area the Evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remaind Stupidly excellent, of enmitie disarme ‘d, Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge; But the hot Hell that always in him burns, […] quickly ended his delight, And abuses him now more, the more he sees Of satisfaction not for him ordain ‘d […] (PL 8. 461-470) For a simple minute all of the wicked held within Satan was reserved in wonder of Eve’s angelic charm. The monster experiences a minute like this, as he glances upon the picture of William’s mom.
As he is telling Frankenstein his story, he admits, “In spite of my malignity, it softened and attracted me. For a couple of moments I looked with pleasure on her dark eyes, fringed by deep lashes, and her charming lips; but presently my rage returned: I bore in mind that I was forever deprived of the delights that such stunning animals could bestow” (144-145). Both the animal in addition to Satan look upon the charm of a woman and lose their malevolence for a moment, yet when each recognizes that they are taking a look at something unattainable to them, their fierceness is enhanced.
There are a few circumstances in the novel where Frankenstein seems to function as Adam in Paradise Lost. This appears in the murder of Frankenstein’s other half, Elizabeth. In Paradise Lost, Adam is encouraged by Eve that given that Eve is the weaker of the 2, then Satan will not attempt to assault her, but instead lure Adam. Eve says, “The willinger I goe, nor much anticipate/ An Opponent so happy will first the weaker look for;/ So bent, the more will pity him his repulse” (PL 8. 382-384). Adam is misinterpreted in his choice, nevertheless, causing the supreme damage, The Fall itself. Frankenstein formulates this presumption concerning the monster on his wedding night.
He thinks, “‘I will be with you on your wedding-night.’ That was then the duration repaired for the satisfaction of my destiny” (173 ). Later on, he leaves his bride alone in her bed room to look for the beast in other places, believing that the beast is after just him. With a scream his new better half is murdered, and the fact dawns upon Frankenstein, minutes too late. This needless death is triggered merely because Frankenstein thinks that his monster will not stoop low enough to attack his innocent other half, as Adam presumed worrying Satan in Paradise Lost. Hidden appearances of Hell are prevalent through out Shelley’s novel.
Romantic authors (such as Shelley) frequently describe Hell as being a location of horrible privacy and cold, such as a barren landscape of ice, which, quite often through out the book, is the setting. The monster, sin in a tangible form, describes how he is” […] better fitted by my conformation for the endurance of cold than heat (134 ),” as the devil might remain in a romantic’s Hell. He likewise describes that even “Satan had his buddies, fellow-devils, to appreciate and motivate him, however I am singular and detested (133 ),” showing how entirely lonesome the monster is, a hell in itself.
The novel Frankenstein has many close ties to the poetry of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Victor Frankenstein and his monster production are a scriptural mix of Adam, Eve, God, and Satan. Mary Shelly’s writing was affected considerably by Milton’s work, proof of which depends on the eerie similarities between the 2. The allusions to Paradise Lost offer the reader a story by which to unconsciously compare the characters of Frankenstein, hence likewise reiterating one of the primary themes; the mission for understanding and the resultant death.
Following the death of Frankenstein, his beast utters his own last words. “‘But soon,’ he cried, […] I shall die. […] I will rise my funeral pyre triumphantly, and exult in the misery of torturing flames'” (225 ). Works Cited Milton, John. Paradise Lost. 1667. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. 20 Nov. 2005. id=MilPL67. sgm&& images=images/modeng & information=/ texts/english/ modeng/parsed&& tag=public? = 8 & department = div1 > Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 1818. New York: Penguin Class