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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Stories of tragedy, terror, and treacherousness have captivated millions for generations. Such tales became broadly beloved during the Gothic era, with the publishing of numerous acclaimed novellas. Amongst the ranks of works such as Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde resides Frankenstein; it tells the tale of a forbidden goal, immoral actions, and downfall on the part of the protagonist Victor Frankenstein. His position in the Satanic hero archetype contributes to the stupendous story. The author of the renowned work, Mary Shelley, included Satanic heroes among numerous other literary devices that fabricate Frankenstein’s exemplarity. She clearly and cleverly identifies three elements that expose Victor’s role as a Satanic hero by interweaving the theme of nature vs. nurture, a doppelganger, and biblical allusion during the novel’s composition.

By choosing to include a Satanic hero, Shelley confines her plot to strict criteria. Satanic heroes can be identified by three distinct characteristics; they distinguishingly decline similarly to Adam from Genesis because he shares those traits. In the same manner as Adam, Satanic heroes desire and seek knowledge and power. However, during that quest authors impart their villainous nature, despite decent personalities. The search for knowledge eventually leads to their destruction. Thus, authors find Adam’s story to have three critical commonalities with the Satanic hero archetype. The criteria of stories involving Satanic heroes leads to unique situations and writing throughout the novel.

Early in the text, Shelley highlights the circumstances that lead to a Satanic hero: inquiring for information, horrible actions, and unfavorable results. She incorporates the theme of nature v...

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...ing them. The theme of nature vs. nurture applies to Victor. It even explains his educative pursuit, which causes the disputable actions accounting for his disconsolate ending. The doppelganger and allusion to Adam identically correspond to Victor. By including these literary elements, readers can discern Victor as the novel’s Satanic hero, and thus gain more insight into the story. Shelley chose to reveal his satanic nature, in favor of forming a more distinguished and fascinating plot. She created an enduring novel due to excellent incorporation of elements and writing generations ago. Her talent has provided an example of what adept authors could accomplish in the past, and still does in the present. Today that tremendous talent spawns inspiration for aspiring writers.

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: New American Library, 2000. Print.
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