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As seen in Frankenstein, how is Victor a tragic hero?

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mollyyy123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2011 at 6:15 AM via web

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As seen in Frankenstein, how is Victor a tragic hero?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Mary Shelley's protagonist, in her Romantic novel Frankenstein, can be identified as a tragic hero if aligned to some of the characteristics of the traditional tragic hero.

The tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle in Poetics, must be noble in stature and possess greatness, is mortal and imperfect (although deemed great by society), possesses harmatia (which is Latin for a tragic flaw), is not completely at fault for their misfortune, discovers something from his/her fall (therefore, not a total loss), and his/her end (demise) does not leave the audience in a depressed or completely saddened state.

Based upon these characteristics, Victor can be aligned with a few. Victor's family is renowned in Geneva (which aligns with noble stature). Victor is also a mortal (completely human with no allusions made to anything different). His hamartia is his obsession with science and reanimating life. His fall is not completely his fault given the early education in science his father helped to flourish. In the end, he finds that he should not have pushed God in his quest for Forbidden Knowledge.

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syranx | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2011 at 6:25 AM (Answer #2)

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http://www.enotes.com/frankenstein/q-and-a/how-frankenstein-tragic-hero-235303

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