David Pham Teacher Robert Guffey English 100 13 November 2012 Frankenstein: Into the Depths of allusions An allusion is a figure of speech that is a recommendation to a well-known person, location, event, or literary work. These allusions are usually used by an author who plans to make an effective point without the need to explain it. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein supplies many examples of allusion’s. She connects the story of “Prometheus”, Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Milton’s Paradise Lost to her own novel to convey the crucial points of the meaning behind the story.
Not only does Mary Shelley use the mythological meaning, but includes scriptural allusions of the development of Adam and Eve also. The connections to various works leave clues that will enable readers to identify the many styles of the unique, along with getting a much better understanding of the main concepts. The story of the Prometheus has to do with a titan, a large and godly being, who created guy through clay and water. Prometheus taught guy the essentials to living and took care of them as their developer. Nevertheless, he handled to deceive Zeus by having him accept the humans’ low-grade sacrificial goods.
Zeus’s reaction was the confiscation of fire from humanity; Prometheus, being the caring creator, took fire from Zeus and gave them to the people. Zeus sentences Prometheus everlasting torment; His punishment is to have his liver consumed every day by an eagle, just to have it regrow and consumed again since of his immortality. Prometheus became a figure of anyone who sought to enhance mankind through the methods of scientific knowledge, but struggles with the threat that follows because of his popular tragedy.
Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, becomes the contemporary Prometheus since his tragedy is parallel to Prometheus’ story. Victor Frankenstein produced male, something no other human might possibly fathom. This act reflects that of Prometheus given that he, too, developed humans with his hands. Victor rebels against the laws of nature by developing the monster, and gets punished for it; the beast torments Victor by murdering the ones he held dear until he is left alone on the planet. Victor’s original intention was to benefit the scientific world for humanity by creating the perfect race of people through the reanimation f the dead. His gift to the humans, like Prometheus’ fire, ultimately caused retribution rather than being anything useful. Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem composed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s about a mariner who disrespects nature by slaying an albatross, a bird, and spends for it. The mariner and his men come across a ghostly vessel that houses a skeleton that represents death. The skeleton takes away the life of his crew mate’s, but puts a curse on the mariner. The mariner is required to wander the earth alone while shouldering the problem of his late crew mates.
He needs to inform the story of his bad luck to a stranger in order to alleviate the pain brought on by the curse: “Like one, that on a lonesome road/ Doth walk in worry and fear,/ And having when turned round, strolls on,/ And turns no more his head;/ Since he understands a shocking fiend/ Doth close behind him tread” (50 ). This quote parallels Frankenstein considering that the cursed life of the mariner resembles Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein struggles with his action of creating the monster and not presuming duty for it, whereas the mariner suffers a curse due to the fact that he has disrespected nature.
Therefore, the allusion foreshadows the death of Victor’s enjoyed ones due to his own faults. John Milton’s Paradise Lost specifically parallels the monster’s upbringing throughout Victor’s absence of parental obligations. To understand the impact the poem had on the animal, we initially must comprehend Paradise Lost. This poem has to do with the Fall of Man, a scriptural story. God created Adam to be the very first guy to ever tread earth, in addition to a female buddy called Eve. God developed the two to be pure from the deadly sins. Adam and Eve remain in a state of naivete; they do not feel pity from being nude nor do they know anyything of the world.
This innocence permits Adam and Eve to live in the Garden of Eden, free from all conflict under the condition that they follow the only rule God gave them. This rule was to merely keep away from the tree of knowledge. However, Satan came to Eve in the kind of a snake and lured her to consume from the tree knowledge. This tree grants the customer understanding and curiosity, which negates the innocence Eve once held. Adam, knowing of this, is rather furious, yet he eats the apple also. The apple approved the 2 beings the ability to know of desire, pity, and mutual wonder about.
Their punishment would be banishment from the garden, pregnancy for Eve, and labor work for Adam. For this reason the title, Paradise Lost, indicating the easy and gracious life they lead has fallen apart due to their actions. With this, we are able to connect the beast to Adam. The quote “I am thy animal: I ought to be thy Adam” (66) is said to Victor by the creature when they encounter each other atop Mont Blanc. This quote essentially explains how the beast started as an innocent animal knowing nothing, just like Adam, and suffers considerably as he finds how people view him. He is a monster, a symbol of horror to the human race.
As readers go even more into the book, they learn that the monster reads Paradise Lost and from there he compares his presence to Adam while Victor plays the role as the vicious God. The beast’s “apple” came from the hate people revealed so well. Mary Shelley communicates powerful messages to her readers without the requirement to explain it. This is through the power of allusions; it may appear it’s as if Mary Shelley just copied the themes and ideas from other works; however, that is far from it. Frankenstein is such a successful novel since of how whatever is brought out to make good sense.
I deal with Frankenstein as a category for books since the idea of “your actions will penalize you later on” is so highly present within the novel. There are lots of similar stories to Frankenstein, such as: The Portrait of Dorian Gray, The Weird Case of Dr. Jkyll, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Functions Cited Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. New York: Random Home, 1999. Print. Dudczak, Rebecca. A Cultural History of Frankenstein: Paradise Lost. Mount Holyoke College, 2002. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <