Dec 13, 2017 in Book Review Category

As brought out in the novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is the protagonist, the character who best illustrates the attributes of a tragic hero. The story is about a bright guy whose radical thoughts brought affliction to himself, his friends and family. Frankenstein is not only a victim but also an instrument of this affliction throughout the tale. Right from the beginning of the narrative, the author brings out Frankenstein’s babyhood, schooling and profession, which were filled with the relentless desire to learn. During his childhood, it can be seen that he read quite a good number of books. He later joined the university where he studied meticulously and ultimately decided to try something that had never been done. He intended to find a new way, explore everything unknown and reveal to the world the deepest mysteries of creation. Frankenstein comes out as a tragic hero as he is blinded by the ambiguity of his close association with something, that is beyond the ordinary human understanding, and which is the basis of his strength. This “something” may be referred to as “nature” or “God”. This discloses some kind of everlasting law, which influences the existence of things.

Whereas his experiment appears to be morally wrong and twisted, the truth is that it is incredibly ambitious and imaginative. The formation of life out of inanimate pieces of flesh is surely the epitome of intelligence. By his astonishing deeds, he stands out from the rest of the people, reigning at the top of evolutionary science. This very reality is responsible for the misfortunes that strikes his heroic brilliance and sends him to absolute misery. The narrative illustrates the countless troubles brought by Frankenstein's creation. The creature itself is the first to face this grief. After its creation, Frankenstein abandons it. On the other hand, he declines to acknowledge the terror of the ogre he had created. He is engulfed in shame, remorse and guilt but he still doesn’t confess his dreadful deeds. The abilities of the ogre continued to grow and this led to killing more victims. Based on his actions and the results of them, Frankenstein comes out as a tragic hero.

Related essays