Romantic and Gothic Forces in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Romantic and Gothic Forces in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Sometimes considered one of the first science fiction novels of supernatural terror, Frankenstein proved itself an instant success when released anonymously in 1818. The mad scientist Victor Frankenstein and his creation provoke readers with the fear of the unknown and the power of natures forces. A deeper look into the character of Victor Frankenstein, the role of scientific experimentation and the intricate settings of nature in which the story evolves, prove Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein , a worthy example of both Romantic and Gothic representation in nineteenth century British Literature.

When Mary Shelley was born (1798), her husband's famous predecessors, Wordsworth and Coleridge, published Lyrical Ballads With a Few Other Poems which is an early example of Romantic literature. According to Wordsworth's Preface, "The poet considers man and nature as essentially adapted to each other, and the mind of man as naturally a mirror of the fairest and most interesting properties of nature" (Anderson 606). But, Wordsworth and Coleridge were not the only ones to share this and other Romantic ideas. Shelley's father, William Godwin , "was one of the leading political philosophers of the first Romantic generation" (Anderson 741). And is obvious that Shelley herself showed "admiration for Wordsworth, Coleridge, and in particular The Ancient Mariner" ( Drabble 372), for she included a passage from The Ancient Mariner in her novel Frankenstein.

It was these poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and others who helped shape the ideas and thoughts known as Romanticism. "Romantics saw and felt things brilliantly afresh. They virtually invented certain landscapes . . . ...

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