Aristotelian defined tragedy as "the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself." It incorporates "incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish the catharsis of such emotions."
The tragic hero will most effectively evoke both our pity and terror if he is neither thoroughly good nor evil but indeed a combination of both. A tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail. He is trapped in a situation where he cannot win. He makes some sort of tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Even though he is a fallen hero, he still wins a moral victory and his spirit lives on. Most tragic heroes if not all are born into a state of nobility, are responsible for their own fate and are doomed to make a serious error in judgement.
It is unfortunate what the films using the name Frankenstein have done to prejudice readers against this novel. Frankenstein is a remarkable book for its insights into human nature and human needs, especially as they are felt and amplified in the form of a gigantic creature from outside humanity. The novel touches several powerful themes: love and hate, beauty and ugliness, innocence and guilt, and compassion and hard-heartedness.
As a product of the Romantic era, the book clearly focuses more on feelings and sensibilities than on thought or reason. Yet there is an underlying sense that many of the disasters in the book can be laid to reason: people losing their mind, feelings overindulged, and a loss of balance between head and heart.
The tonal qualities of the novel are worth attending to because, in addition to the dominant tone of darkness or gloom, there are moments of light and beauty, joy and enchantment, and love and pleasure quite irrepressibly glowing into various passages of the book.
The monster is Victor Frankenstein's creation, assembled from old body
Bibliography: • The Gothic Tradition, David Stevens, Cambridge University Press, 2000 • Frankenstein, Mary Shelly