The Meaning Of Good And Evil In John Milton's Frankenstein

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“Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mold me man? Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?” said Adam in Paradise Lost (Milton 10.743-745). This quote, used as an epigraph on the cover page of Frankenstein, provided the reader with a premise of the acclaimed novel. In writing Frankenstein, Mary Shelley took much inspiration from John Milton’s Paradise Lost by constantly redefining and questioning the true meaning of good and evil just as Milton did with God, Satan, and Adam by the use of her characters: Dr. Frankenstein and the creature. Essentially, what is the purpose of life and is fate already decided? Dr. Frankenstein’s monster appeared hideous and horrifying from the beginning, so was the creature destined to become evil?…show more content…
They were the first of their kind, explored new surroundings, abandoned by their creator, and longed for a mate. The creature, in his discovery of Paradise Lost, understood that he was the first of his kind like Adam but was not blessed with the fortune to be cared for by his creator or have a community. He knew that he was “wretched, helpless, and alone” (Shelley 90). Thus, in his misery, he demanded to have partner of his own to have an Eve to soothe his sorrows (Shelley 91). The monster held high expectations for his master because of his discovery of Paradise Lost. If the creature had not found the book, he might have not been inspired to seek a mate from his master. Since he did not ask to be created, Dr. Frankenstein owed him a mate, so he did not have to explore the world alone. Without this mate, the monster sought out companionship from the De Lacey family, but he miserably…show more content…
The creature in confusion of his purpose of existence, finally decides “evil thenceforth became my good” (Shelley 159). This is when the final transition from good to evil is began. According to The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms, British Romantic Era writers, for example Mary Shelley and John Milton, “embraced primitivism which postulates that people are good by nature but corrupted by civilization” (Bedford Glossary 448). This implies that the creature was created evil due to observance of the De Lacey family and discovery of Paradise Lost. The monster continued to share his insight, and Shelley directly referenced to Paradise Lost when the creature expresses, "I cannot believe that I am he whose thought were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so: the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am quite alone" (Shelley
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