Frankenstein Compared to Paradise Lost

Frankenstein Compared to Paradise Lost

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In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley intertwines an intricate web of allusions through her characters' insatiable desires for knowledge. Both the actions of Frankenstein, as well as his creature allude to John Milton?s epic poem Paradise Lost. The legendary Fall of Adam and Eve introduced the knowledge of good and evil into a previously immaculate world. In one split second sin was birthed, and the perfection of the earth was swept away, leaving anguish and iniquity in its ramification. The troubles of Victor Frankenstein began with his quest for knowledge, and, end where both pieces end: death.
The characters in Frankenstein are a collection of those in Paradise Lost. Frankenstein parallels Eve in the Garden of Eden in that they would do whatever it takes to gain the knowledge of all things. While, the Creature corresponds to Satan because they both wanted to break free from their creators and receive a chance at their own decisions. In Chapter 15 of Frankenstein, Shelley alludes to Paradise Lost in order to establish a connection between the Creature and Adam, when the Creature tries to 'sympathize with [his] feelings and cheer [his] gloom.' However, he then realizes that it was all a 'dream, no Eve soothed [his] sorrows, nor shared [his] thoughts, [he] was alone.' The creature meets with the fact that Frankenstein abandoned him, and ?in the bitterness of [his] heart [he] cursed him.' Yet, earlier in Chapter 10, Shelley suggests an affiliation between the Creature and Satan. He feels like a 'fallen angel, whom thou drivest from misjoy.' Both Satan and the Creature make a vow to destroy something good. In Book I, Satan vows to 'seek to bring forth evil' out of good. Similarly, the Creature declares that 'if [he] cannot inspire love, [he] will cause fear. This network of characters aids the reader in identifying the intertextuality of the two pieces.
In the beginning of Frankenstein, Victor was warned of the consequences of his gluttony, whereas Satan swooped under Eve?s radar and deceived her into a desire too strong to give up. Frankenstein exclaimed the even though so much has been done, scientifically, ?more, far more, will be achieved,? and he will ?explore unknown powers.? This aspiration devoured Victor to the point that he didn?t know when to quit. Nothing caused the need for this creature, it did not advance science in any way, it only led to Victor?s eventual and inevitable death.

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Eve?s roles in the Garden of Eden caused her feel subordinate and she presumes that if she could just get that one chance to show Adam, and partly herself, that she can work on her own, then she can build confidence in herself. Her argument utilizes logical appeal to sway Adam stating that ?fear of harm? from an ?unknown foe? makes ?fraile [their] happiness.? She formulates a strong argument and this victory alone gives her a little more power. When the serpent, Satan, deceptively attacks her, she is susceptible to his devices. Theses malicious deceptions describing the awesome and omniscient power only deepen her unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Satan then constructs another logical argument defending that if God requests that Adam and Eve not to commit sin, how can they know what not to do if God keeps them ?low and ignorant.? This reckless act leads to the destruction of man just and Victor?s cravings led him to utter annihilation.
Through the use of allusions, which lead to intertextuality of the novel Frankenstein and the epic poem Paradise Lost, Mary Shelley can better create worldwide awareness of the danger of the uncontrollable desire for knowledge. These aspirations make their eyes ?dim? to the dangerous line not to be crossed.
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