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Romanticism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

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Mary Shelley, with her brilliant tale of mankind's obsession with two opposing forces: creation and science, continues to draw readers with Frankenstein's many meanings and effect on society. Frankenstein has had a major influence across literature and pop culture and was one of the major contributors to a completely new genre of horror. Frankenstein is most famous for being arguably considered the first fully-realized science fiction novel. In Frankenstein, some of the main concepts behind the literary movement of Romanticism can be found. Mary Shelley was a colleague of many Romantic poets such as her husband Percy Shelley, and their friends William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, even though the themes within Frankenstein are darker than their brighter subjects and poems. Still, she was very influenced by Romantics and the Romantic Period, and readers can find many examples of Romanticism in this book. Some people actually argue that Frankenstein “initiates a rethinking of romantic rhetoric”1, or is a more cultured novel than the writings of other Romantics. Shelley questions and interacts with the classic Romantic tropes, causing this rethink of a novel that goes deeper into societal history than it appears. For example, the introduction of Gothic ideas to Frankenstein challenges the typical stereotyped assumptions of Romanticism, giving new meaning and context to the novel. Mary Shelley challenges Romanticism by highlighting certain aspects of the movement while questioning and interacting with the Romantic movement through her writing.
The preceding Enlightenment period had depended upon reason, logic and science to give us knowledge, success, and a better society. The Romantics contested that idea and changed the formula...


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...Mary. Frankenstein. Edited by D.L Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf. 3rd ed. Buffalo: Broadview Press, 2010. Print.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Defence of Poetry. Sydney: ReadHowYouWant Pty Ltd, 2006. Google Book.
Smith, Nicole. “Common Themes in Romanticism, The Enlightenment, and The Renaissance.” ArticleMyriad.com. December 7, 2011. Accessed October 30, 2013. http://www.articlemyriad.com/common-themes-romanticism-enlightenment-renaissance/
Spielvogel, Jackson J. “Chapter 21: Reaction, Revolution, and Romanticism, 1815-1850.” In Western Civilization Volume II: Since 1500, 632-664. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009. Print.
“Romanticism”. The Literature Network. Accessed November 1, 2013. http://www.online-literature.com/periods/romanticism.php
“Characteristics of Romantic Literature”. Odessa. Accessed November 1. http://www.odessa.edu/dept/english/dsmith/rom.lit.char.pdf


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Romanticism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay - Mary Shelley, with her brilliant tale of mankind's obsession with two opposing forces: creation and science, continues to draw readers with Frankenstein's many meanings and effect on society. Frankenstein has had a major influence across literature and pop culture and was one of the major contributors to a completely new genre of horror. Frankenstein is most famous for being arguably considered the first fully-realized science fiction novel. In Frankenstein, some of the main concepts behind the literary movement of Romanticism can be found....   [tags: Frankenstein]
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