In Frankenstein, in what ways does the creature exhibit Romantic characteristics? What Romantic poets does he relate to?

In Frankenstein, the most prominent way the creature exhibits Romantic characteristics is in being a tormented, lonely, and isolated soul. He relates most closely to the Romantic poet Lord Byron.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The creature exhibits such Romantic characteristics as a love of nature and love for the simple, good-hearted De Laceys, who live in poverty in the woods. More specifically, however, the creature relates to the Romantic poet Lord Byron. Byron, a close friend of Mary Shelley's, invented what is known as the Byronic hero, a tortured soul, often with a secret sin or grief, who is forced to wander the earth in isolation.

The creature fits the profile of the Byronic hero because he is tormented by the universal rejection his hideous body causes him. Even Victor, his creator, rejects him. The creature must wander the earth alone because nobody can tolerate his presence, and his creator will not build him a mate. Alone, abandoned, full of a generous desire to give and receive love, the creature suffers from a loneliness and despair that turns to anger and a desire for revenge against those who rejected him.

Victor is most often seen as the Byronic hero of the novel, but the creature is in many ways Victor's twin or doppelgänger. He can be understood as enacting Victor's repressed desires. It is very possible that Victor, for example, secretly wishes he could kill his younger brother, William, a rival for his parent's love. The creature enacts that wish. Victor and the creature mirror each other in being lonely, tortured souls.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial