What  evidence can be given to support the statement that Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a tragedy?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Frankenstein's themes ring of Shakespeare's Macbeth, a tragedy in which moral and social concerns are of no concern to Macbeth is his vaulting ambition which pursues the crown of Scotland.  For, much akin to Macbeth is Victor Frankenstein, who in his hubris, pushes the boundaries of science to supranatural levels in his formation of a living creature.

Further, Victor Frankenstein, in his hubris, or tragic arrogance, meets the definition of a tragic hero;

  1. Victor is of noble, or aristocratic birth,
  2. He discovers his fate is a result of his own actions.  For instance, he knows that the creature has promised him harm if he does not create the female creature.
  3. He sees and understands his doom.  Victor tells Walton that he is defeated and will soon die after pursuing the creature.
  4. His story arouses fear and empathy.  Walton is most sympathetic, and he fears for Victor.
  5. Victor suffers more than he deserves.  His brother, dearest friend, and lover are all killed.
  6. His mistake is the cause of his misfortune.
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