Monday, August 25, 2008

Paradise of Werter’s Lost Lives and Sorrow

“…they consisted of Paradise Lost, a volume of Plutarch’s Lives, and the Sorrows of Werter” (116).

Paradise Lost is an epic poem written by John Milton. Largely based around the Bible, Milton includes the story of Adam and Eve and their fall into sin, and the story of Satan and his followers. Throughout his story, Frankenstein’s creature relates himself to both Adam and Satan, substituting Frankenstein for God.

Plutarch’s Lives, also known as Parallel Lives of the Greeks and Romans, contains biographies of Greek and Roman men who had active roles in their governments or were legendary thinkers of their time. Plutarch pairs each man with another to accentuate collective parallels in their ways. Frankenstein’s creature uses several of the men in Lives as models for his actions.

The Sorrows of Werter, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, tell of a Werter’s infatuation with a married woman and his struggles with it that eventual lead to his suicide. Frankenstein’s creature connects with Werter’s feeling of emptiness; he is saddened by his death without realizing the bond shared.

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