Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

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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? The creature and Satan felt envy towards mankind and their creator, and they questioned the purpose of their existence and free will. Shelly, truly modern and ahead of her time, caused her readers to ponder over evil being formed from circumstances, and who does the creature resemble more in relation to his creator, Satan or Adam? Mary Shelley designed Dr. Frankenstein’s creature to parallel with Satan because he was destined to pursue a life of evil.
It is natural to compare the monster predominantly to Adam before the animosity and rage consumed him. 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...


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...rast, Satan, during Book III, felt envious of the vast and beautiful lands of paradise given to Adam and Eve.
Mary Shelley eloquently designs the creature to equally resemble Adam and Satan while forcing her readers to question the true deceitfulness of the creature himself. Is evil the fault of the creator, or is it the fault of society? With these Romantic and primitivism beliefs, Shelley continues to rise to famous with her modern beliefs. Compared to a period when people were immediately held accountable by their actions, Shelley forces the readers of her time to take sympathy on the unfortunate rather than cast them aside as evil doers If Mary Shelley were to grow up during this current age where mental illnesses are the scapegoats of evil actions, would the creature be classified as the evil unleashed unto the world, or an ugly man diagnosed with depression?

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