Week 5 Discussion-Romanticism in Frankenstein
Romanticism was an intellectual movement that took hold in Europe during the late 18th century. Romanticism was born out of a direct opposition to Enlightenment views that emphasized reason, science and knowledge. The Enlightenment had evolved as a response to oppression by the church. During the Enlightenment Europeans began to question the laws of the church and state that were deemed biased and unfair. As a result to this oppression Europeans began to seek out knowledge and the philosophers of the time were seen as political thinkers and leaders. In contrast, Romanticism was a movement that opposed political norms that were the foundation of Enlightenment thinking. Romanticism placed emphasis on feelings, love, individuality and imagination to name a few. Romanticism touched all facets of art, literature and music during the late 1800s. Many writers during this time produced works that help to define the era of Romanticism by creating characters that were individualists with a keen sense of “self-definition and self-awareness” (Brians). Mary Shelley is considered one of the great novelists of the Romantic period even though she is only credited with writing one novel that falls within the Romantic genre.
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus, in 1818 as part of a writing competition held by Lord Byron in Geneva. It was originally published under an anonymous author and Shelley’s name did not appear on the novel until a second edition was released in 1823. Frankenstein was Shelley’s most famous work and it is said that the idea for the novel came to Shelley in a dream. In her dream Shelley observes a scientist piecing together parts of man's body, only to be horrified in the end by the unnaturalness of his creation. Frankenstein is considered the first work of science fiction and also a novel that contains ideas central to the Romanticist...
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