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Discuss to What Extent the Monster in Frankenstein Is Portrayed as a Tragic Hero?

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Discuss to what extent the monster in Frankenstein is portrayed as a tragic hero?

Aristotelian defined tragedy as "the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself." It incorporates "incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish the catharsis of such emotions."

The tragic hero will most effectively evoke both our pity and terror if he is neither thoroughly good nor evil but indeed a combination of both. A tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail. He is trapped in a situation where he cannot win. He makes some sort of tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Even though he is a fallen hero, he still wins a moral victory and his spirit lives on. Most tragic heroes if not all are born into a state of nobility, are responsible for their own fate and are doomed to make a serious error in judgement.

It is unfortunate what the films using the name Frankenstein have done to prejudice readers against this novel. Frankenstein is a remarkable book for its insights into human nature and human needs, especially as they are felt and amplified in the form of a gigantic creature from outside humanity. The novel touches several powerful themes: love and hate, beauty and ugliness, innocence and guilt, and compassion and hard-heartedness.

As a product of the Romantic era, the book clearly focuses more on feelings and sensibilities than on thought or reason. Yet there is an underlying sense that many of the disasters in the book can be laid to reason: people losing their mind, feelings overindulged, and a loss of balance between head and heart.

The tonal qualities of the novel are worth attending to because, in addition to the dominant tone of darkness or gloom, there are moments of light and beauty, joy and enchantment, and love and pleasure quite irrepressibly glowing into various passages of the book.

The monster is Victor Frankenstein's creation, assembled from old body parts and strange chemicals, animated by a mysterious spark. He enters life eight feet tall and enormously strong but with the mind of a newborn. Abandoned by his creator and confused, he tries to integrate himself into society, only to be shunned universally. Looking in the mirror, he realizes his physical grotesqueness, an aspect of his persona that blinds society to his initially gentle, kind nature. Seeking revenge on his creator, he kills Victor's younger brother. After Victor destroys his work on the female monster meant to ease the monster's solitude, the monster murders Victor's best friend and then his new wife.

While Victor feels unmitigated hatred for his creation, the monster shows that he is not a purely evil being. The monster's eloquent narration of events, as provided by Victor, reveals his remarkable sensitivity and benevolence. He assists a group of poor peasants and saves a girl from drowning, but because of his outward appearance, he is rewarded only with beatings and disgust. Torn between vengefulness and compassion, the monster ends up lonely and tormented by remorse. Even the death of his creator-turned-would-be-destroyer offers only bittersweet relief: joy because Victor has caused him so much suffering, sadness because Victor is the only person with whom he has had any sort of relationship.

The Romantic Movement is one of the most important literary periods in history; affecting the literature, music, and art of the period. It encouraged spontaneity, and acting with emotions, not common sense. In the more classical style of writing, writers addressed their books to the upper class, but now writers addressed the common man and his problems. There was a new feeling of spirituality. People were seeking eastern concepts of nirvana, transcendentalism and being one with nature. People wanted to experience life, not study it. Whether they were good or bad, people sought

extreme emotions. Marry Shelly used all of these philosophies of the Romantic Period in writing Frankenstein.

I feel monster is born as a romantic, but because of the world's transgressions on him, he becomes an anti-Romantic and a Gothic character. The monster becomes dark, and wants to bring death and destruction to everything around him. Now, when he sees beauty, he becomes jealous. "But she shall suffer; the murder I have committed because I am forever robbed of all that she could give, had its source in her, she shall atone; be hers the punishment!" When he first went into the world, all he desired was human interaction. After watching and studying a family of cottagers, the monster felt that he was part of their family without ever meeting them. Even after the cottagers rejection he still had hope that they would accept him. "But I did not believe my error to be irretrievable, after much consideration I resolved to return to the cottage, seek the old man, and by my representations win him to my party." The monster had not condemned humanity until he saved the life of a young boy, and for a reward, he is shot. "I had saved a human being from destruction, and as recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered flesh and bone."

After this event, he condemned all mankind. "I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind." He wanted to be accepted and to be human, but everyone he sees scorns and hates him. Even an innocent child despises him. "You are an ogre" "Hideous monster, let me go!" He now hates the world and himself. The monster has all the connections to Romanticism, such as his temper being parallel to the weather, his physical and intellectual abilities surpass those of a normal person, and he represents all of mankind: good and bad. The monster loves nature and its beauty, but when he is transformed into an anti-romantic, nature mocks him. "Nature decayed around me, the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface of the earth was hard and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter."

As Floyd states, "Felix and Safie's affection for one another increases the intensity of the creatureƒ's loneliness." He becomes aware of his own need for never-to-be granted sexual satisfaction. Self-destruction proposes a decisive way out of pain and rejection. Living, however, seems to offer more to the creature since Werther's wretched life displayed a depth of devotion that went beyond mere escape. Sorrow might ennoble the creature, fitting him for respect if not love. This complex thought and reason on behalf of the creature intensifies the tragedy of his destiny. Despite his external faults, we see that



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