Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus Essays

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus Essays

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Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Batman; these are some examples of the modern day hero. Most call this form of a hero a Super Hero. In the early nineteenth century, the popular hero of the day was the romantic hero. Mary Shelly gives a great picture of this hero in her novel Frankenstein. She uses Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the famous “Frankenstein’s Monster” as her character which embodies the traits of a romantic hero. The model was relatively new; however, Christopher Marlowe had written a character in the early fifteenth century which embodied the same characteristics. These attributes of romanticism in the form of a hero are seen in both Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus in very much the same way. The authors use their respective hero to show the flaws in human nature and humankind’s predisposition towards sin using such things as obsession, internal battles and differing moral codes.
The romantic hero is obsessed with something, and usually this something is detrimental towards themselves and or their relationship with Christ. Victor is obsessed with two things: one, the creation of his monster and, two, finding his monster after his life is destroyed by it. Victor says that “so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation” that he “did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves” which had previously enamored him(Shelly 34). Victor was so obsessed with the creation of his monster that he did not even leave his “lair”. This obsession led to health problems, seclusion from the world and his family, and ultimately to the deaths of several people because of the monster he completed. Towards the end of the novel, we see a Victor consumed with finding and killing the beast. He swears “to purs...


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...arated by about three hundred years and different types of literature; however, Shelly and Marlowe use the qualities of a romantic hero to show that human nature is flawed and that man is prone to sin. They use the “qualities” of obsession, internal battles and differing moral codes to convey their message that “Bad company corrupts good character” so to speak, the “bad company” being humans and their sinful nature, and the “good company” being seemingly harmless qualities of a hero(1 Corinthians 15:33). Humankind should take their stories as an example and learn from it, by turning to God instead of those things.



Works Cited

Barker, Kenneth L., ed. Holy Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. Print.
Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus. New York: Dover, 1994. Print.
Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein. New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print.

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