Frankenstein and Romanticism

Why do we do horrible things?

1. AUGUSTINIAN view: Because we have evil natures.

2. ENLIGHTENMENT view: Because our social institutions are corrupt.

3. ROMANTICISM view: "I am malicious because I am miserable."

  1. SOUL



Romanticism: from the medieval/chivalric "romance" or QUEST story.

ALCHEMY as "quest."

19th-century Romanticism -- secular, adventure, exploration

  1. Walton's scientific quest
  2. Victor's quest for knowledge--"elixir of life"

What promotes flow of emotions and imagination?

What stifles them?

Romanticism's critique of the Enlightenment:

    1. Dependence on science and reason
    2. The ideal of law

Frankenstein's creature: mediated monstrosity

Who is the greater monster?