The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge “I am going to unexplored regions, to ‘the land of mist and snow,’but I shall kill no albatross; …””Like one who, on a lonely road…Doth close behind him tread. Victor Frankenstein playing the role of the mariner. As the mariner feels compelled to share his story to one who needs to hear it, so does Victor. The Mariner and Victor both seen their loves ones die. 1) Here Walton describes his voyage into uncharted waters with the same sense of wonder and mystery (“a belief in the marvelous”) as is depicted in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” However, he assures his sister, he will kill no albatross and thus avenge a Polar Spirit. However, it is ironic that this allusion comes just before he meets Frankenstein, for Frankenstein, much like the Mariner, tells his story to an audience who is forever changed by the knowledge. 2) Note how this allusion captures the way that Frankenstein is literally haunted by his creation and how the monster dogs his steps from this point on in the novel, either physically or psychologically. Frankenstein is never able to walk freely from this point on–the knowledge of what he has done changes him utterly.
Divine Comedy (Inferno) by Dante Alighieri”…it became a thing such as even Dante could nothave conceived.” Victor is living through hell itself. The imagery in Dantes’ Inferno is quite vivid, and sure to leave an impression of horror and brutality in the readers mind. This is why the reference that even Dante could not have imagined such a beast as Frankensteins’ monster is so important, for it would surely lead the reader to imagine something incredibly horrific and gruesome even worse than hell itself. This realization helps to show Victors anguish, and may lead the reader to feelings of pity for Victor as well, thus drawing them deeper into the plot.
One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) “I was like the Arabian who had been buried with thedead and found a passage to life, aided only by one glimmering and seemingly ineffectual light.” Victor found something too good to be true, like Sinbad finding the island and a beautiful wife.It foreshadows Victor’s future, like Sinbad’s future. In The Thousand and One NIghts, the Arabian Sinbad is buried alive with the body of his dead wife, but narrowly escapes death by following a distant light to freedom. Frankenstein equates his discovery of creating life to Sinbad’s epic escape from death. However, while the light allows Sinbad to evade death and destruction, Frankenstein’s “light” (discovering the secret to life) ultimately leads to his destruction.
Tintern Abbey” by William WordsworthThe sounding cataractHaunted him like a passion: the tall rock,The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,Their colours and their forms, were then to himAn appetite; a feeling, and a love,That had no need of a remoter charm,By thought supplied, or any interestUnborrow’d from the eye. Foreshadows Henry’s death. The passage in which the Tintern Abbey is used is surrounded by Victor’s description of his friend, Henry Clerval. Of how connected to nature Henry is, and how at home he seems in it. Henry is not loner type of fellow, in fact Shelley makes it a point at other times to express how much more social Henry is then Victor. So Henry’s affiliation with nature is not the same as the solitude Victor seeks in it.
“Old Familiar Faces” by Charles Lamb”I loved my brothers, Elizabeth, and Clerval; thesewere ‘old familiar faces’… This allusion is a direct indicator that soon all of Frankenstein’s “old familiar faces” will be dead. Shelley uses this allusion to foreshadow the death and destruction upon all things near and dear to Victor.
“Mutability” by Percy ShelleyWe rest; a dream has power to poison sleep;We rise; one wandering thought pollutes the day;We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep,Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,The path of its departure still is free;Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;Nought may endure but Mutability! This emphasizes how Victor is unable to escape the horrors of his creation, and how it interferes with any uplifting experience he might have. For right as Victor starts to lose himself in the joys and beauty of the natural world, the creature appears and “poisons” this cheery atmosphere. Shelley thus uses this poem to explore Frankenstein’s state of mind, and also foreshadows the return of the creature.
Prometheus: “Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as Idabbed among the unhallowed damps of the grave or torturedthe living animal to animate the lifeless clay?”Consider that the subtitle of the book is “The ModernPrometheus.” In the creation, Victor creates it from nothing to life like Prometheus. Victor is referred to the modern prometheus. Victor defied God in which he was punished for his actions, like when Promethsus defied Zeus. Victor created an uncessary technology for humans just like Pormetheus. n crafting the creature and giving it life, Victor Frankenstein takes on the role of God, assuming a power that is divine, and, not to be trifled with by men.
Paradise Lost by John Milton”Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am…” Page 117: “But Paradise Lost excited different and far deeper emotions. Like Adam…” Page 119: “But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared …” Page 208: “But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even…” Consider the fact that both Walton and Victor pursue knowledge. 1) The monster uses every text he gets his hands on as a true history of humanity, and he understands there is one God, who created all of humanity in his image. These thoughts excite the monster because they allow him to believe there is more out there than just humans, who would never accept him. Paradise Lost allows him to believe there is a God who would accept him, for he is a true spirit at heart. 2) Both were alone on this Earth at the beginning of their lives, but God creates Eve in Adams image, while the monster had no one. The monster sees it unfair he is alone, lonely, and in need of friend. For these reasons the monster asks Victor to make him a companion. God created and protects Adam because he made him in his perfect image, which makes Adam happy and prosperous. Alone in the world, the monster is united by no link to any other living creature. Once created and abandoned by Victor, the monster was helpless and alone, with nobody to turn to. Victor Frankenstein, playing God, resembles Satan from Milton’s Paradise Lost, in which Satan is an archangel punished for his vanity, arrogance, and thirst for forbidden knowledge. Like him, Victor attempts to take over God’s role as creator and master of the universe. This achievement, Victor imagines, will be a superior one, and the exuberant and admirable beings that he creates will worship and honor him like a most deserving father.

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