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Biblical Allusions in Frankenstein

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Olivia Grados

on 3 November 2015

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Transcript of Biblical Allusions in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley's
Religious Background

Shelley wanted to showcase the principles of what it means to be a human with the novel

Shelly was an atheist who wanted to eliminate God in order to display self-realization in

This is important in how
comes across to the reader because the Biblical allusions in Frankenstein are relevant to how Shelly wants the reader to think about God and the creation of life.
Chapter 4
Chapter 15
Adam and Eve
Victor acquires enough knowledge to have the capabilities to create a man, but the man does not turn out to be good and pure.

The monster wants to have a female companion to eat berries with, much like Adam and Eve.

Paradise Lost

Works Cited
Biblical allusion is apparent in chapter 4 of the novel. Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, claims that he will be honored as a creator and source of life . This claim alludes to the Bible because of the reflection on the creation of man. Frankenstein displays himself as a man comparable to God. The monster displays himself as a tragic character, much like Adam and Satan.

Quotes that display Biblical allusion:

"It was a bold question," (36).
This relates to the question of where life stems from and if it can be created artificially.

"A new species would bless me as its creator and source [...] No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs," (38-39)
This quote showcases how Victor believes himself a God; he knows that he is the sole creator of his creature. This alludes to God and Adam and the creation of a sole human being.

What do you believe Mary Shelley was trying to accomplish by including Biblical allusions in
The monster finds a copy of Paradise Lost and and reads it. After reading the book he compares himself to Satan and finds that he and Satan both have similar struggles in life.

A Quote that displays Biblical allusion:

"Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect," (110).

This shows the similarities between the monster and Adam, but everything else is quite different with them. Frankenstein knows he is alone and, like Adam, is without a companion.

Paradise Lost


Paradise Lost, an epic poem published in 1667, is frequently referenced in Frankenstein. The epic tells how to "Justify the way of God to men". The poem describes Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and Satan. The monster reads,

obsesses, and learns from the poem, and it influences his learning and development as an intelligent being. Frankenstein doesn't protect or care for his creation, unlike Adam, who has God to do said things.

"I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition, for like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me" (110).

This quote alludes to the Bible because Satan is described as envious as is Frankenstein of the life that one normally has. Before, the reader believed the monster to be like Adam, but as the story progresses, Shelley creates a clear picture as to who the wretch really alludes to.

"Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred," (111).

Even though the monster relates to Satan more than Adam, he still feels more alone than even Satan.

"[N]o Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him," (112).

This displays the extreme struggles that the monster is facing. He alludes to the Bible and connects it to his own experiences. He shares his opinions on why he thinks it wrong for his creator to abandon him; he believed that it was the creators duty to care for the monster after creating him.


Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Charlottesville, Va.: U of Virginia Library, 1996. Print.

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