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Transcript of Paradise Lost
share powerful themes in the relationship between a creator and his creation: rejection, vengeance, journeys and power.
Adam and the Creature
Satan and the Creature
excited different and far deeper emotions… I often referred the several situations, as their similarity struck me, to my own.”
- ("Frankenstein," the Monster, Chapter XV)
: London, England
Published Paradise Lost
: poet, polemicist, civil servant
Both are in a position of
to create life
God: created Adam, Eve, and angels to love and be loved
Victor: emulate God by creating life. Not role of humans.
Relationships with creations
God: loved Satan when He created him as an angel and would probably be prepared for forgiveness
never established any love
with the Creature. From the moment he became alive, he cursed it and drew back in fear
Went from the Pope being in charge to the King being in charge
Despised corruption he saw in the Catholic Church
Believed that each individual Christian should be his own church
Advocated the complete abolishment of all church establishments
Individual view on Christianity
Does not see men and women as equals
"Wives should be subservient to their husbands."
Early views in Paradise Lost may be viewed as misogynistic in today's society
Essays and pamphlets argued against established views of England
Distrusted anyone who could claim power and believed that rulers should have to prove their right to lead people
Activist: fought for human rights and against the rule of England's leaders (who he thought were incompetent)
Wasn't a fighter: showed his activism through writing
Pioneer for right of divorce
Argued that partners must complement each other
Portrayal of Adam and Eve after the fall is an example of his belief that two people can complement each other, improving faults and enhancing each others’ strengths
: London, England
: novelist, playwright, feminist
A Source of Inspiration
"Paradise Lost" is explicitly mentioned in Frankenstein
Read by the Creature (compares himself to Adam/Satan)
Shelley explores same themes (rejection, justice, journeys and power) 200 years later in a more modern fashion
Creature thought his life reflected Adam's
“protectors” as his own version of the Paradise
that Adam and Eve lived in
Like Adam’s Paradise made him feel loved and taken care of, the Creature’s protectors made him feel included
first creatures of their kind
relate to Satan When the Creature approached his protectors for the first time
Creature took care of family and they attacked him; intentions went from pure to revengeful
Similar to Eve disappointing Adam
by eating the apple
God while the Creature turned to
The Creature: decided to hurt everyone close to Victor due to his anger with his lack of acceptance from humans
Satan: chose to get back at God by destroying Adam and Eve
After Creature experiences rejection, witnesses the normal lives of his Protectors and sees his reflection in the water, he
finds closer similarity to Satan
The Creature justifies this as he believes:
when onlooking the happiness of others
Both have been
by their creator
Both have a
Both were essentially
The only difference is that God once loved Satan, while Victor never loved the Creature.
“This knows my punisher; therefore as far From granting he, as I from begging peace: All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
Of us, outcast, exil’d, his new delight, Mankind, created, and for him this world.”
- Satan (Book IV, lines 103-107)
God has no intention of offering forgiveness to Satan and Satan has no intention of asking for it
Instead of searching for Satan God created a new species that would love Him and (hopefully) never defy Him.
This outward rejection from Satan is what contributed to his need for vengeance.
Is it better to reject or accept?
Stem Cell Babies
Indecisive on religious beliefs
If not religious: Shelley might have used the relationship between Victor and the Creature to mock the idea of religion
A heartless God casts you out into the harsh world to fend for yourself
Regardless, it is evident that she believed tampering with life is not right.
Suggests she felt there was some higher power in charge of creating and destroying life
Shelley was conscious of political issues of her time: could be what prompted her to make the creature a critic of society
Felt women should participate in political sphere, while idealizing the picture of the “peaceful, loving bourgeois family”
Observed a woman’s identity is tied to her value in the marriage market, while a man’s identity can be shaped and improved based on economic status and wealth
Views similar to Milton’s: women are useless, not long lasting in society and cannot have an impact.
“That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me, to bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee and deify his power.”
- Satan (Book I, lines 110-112)
Satan initially sought vengeance against God as He resembled a King
Satan did not want to be a lowly follower underneath a high and mighty “king” like God
He often refers to God sarcastically as “Prince, Chief, or Mightiest” to highlight his distaste for God’s seemingly dictatorship-like rule
“There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me, and sent me forth to this insupportable misery.”
- The Creature (Chapter XVI, pg. 135)
Similar to how Satan felt: cast out and disliked by former peers for defying God
The Creature realizes every person whom he had attempted to interact with either feared him or hated him because of his frightening appearance
He loathes Victor especially for creating him to be such a gruesome and physically unlikeable being, which is why he declares war against Victor and all who have judged him
God and Victor
Resembles Adam or Satan?
and Satan's quests
"No father had watched my infant days, no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses."
- The Creature (Chapter XIV, pg. 109)
do you think
had greater importance?
The Creature was robbed of the opportunity to have a family
Rejected at birth
Lack of love lead to growth of anger
Never learned moral values: right from wrong
“Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honour clad,
In naked majesty seem’d lords of all,
And worthy seem’d; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone…”
- Milton (Book IV, lines 288- 292)
Power comes from the ability to tamper with human life
God demonstrated His power by creating the human race that "glorified" Him
God was able to make different versions of himself in Adam and Eve
“After days and nights of days of incredible labour and fatigue, I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter.”
- Victor (Chapter IV, pg. 47)
Victor tried to mimic God’s power by creating the Creature
Did this not to be a father but to have power and fame and possibly to challenge God
Unlike God (who wanted companionship), Victor was motivated by pride and ambition
the levels of
power that God, Satan, and Victor had over human life.
"So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;
Evil be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world shall know."
- Satan (Book IV, lines 108-113)
After talking about remorse and the option of pardoning God, Satan arrives to the conclusion that he is not meant to be saved
Where does theme of Journey come in?
Metaphorical: Satan has gone from being "good" to "bad"
Literal: Satan is now ready to journey into Paradise in the hopes of destroying God's happiness
"I lighted the dry branch of a tree, and danced with fury around the devoted cottage... and with a loud scream, I fired the straw, and heath, and bushes, which I had collected... Wither should I bend my steps? ... Every country must be equally horrible."
-The Creature (Chapter XVI, pg. 123)
The Creature has given up hope of pure happiness as Satan has
After destroying the home of the "protectors," the Creature shifts from good and hopeful to revengeful and hopeless
What is meant by journey?
Metaphorical: the Creature changes from good to bad
Literal: the Creature journeys to seek vengeance on Victor
God created life in Paradise Lost. Frankenstein, trying to usurp the power of God, created life in the monster
Today, men still crave the power to bring life into existence
in the form of stem cell research
Even now there still is controversy on whether the research should be continued
China's One Child Policy
"Blessed," "smiles" and "caresses." Emphasizes what he does not have.
Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”:
Witnessed his father’s death when he was just a young boy
Similar to how
Satan sought revenge on God
, Inigo Montoya dedicated the rest of his life to become a trained swordsman and
avenging his father’s death
Reader understands Satan is letting go of past hope
Highlights the importance of the cottage to the Creature
Connection to Paradise Lost:
"Everlasting" connects to the "eternal essence" relevant throughout Paradise Lost
China’s One Child policy:
abandonment of many children
(especially girls) by their parents.
Women would have ultrasounds to discover the child’s sex, and if a girl,
abortions were performed
Deprived of life with a family
Similar to both the Creature and Satan
The abandoned children had done
Satan had rebelled against God but was also deprived of this “family” atmosphere in Heaven.