Who is Cornelius Agrippa, and how does Victor find out about him in Frankenstein? 

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Victor’s first encounter with works from Cornelius Agrippa occurred when he was thirteen. He was on a family outing at the baths near Thonon when he first read Agrippa's works. During the outing, bad weather forced them to remain indoors. While in the house, Victor stumbled upon works by Agrippa. The contents of the book stirred his interest in Natural philosophy. His father made futile attempts to dissuade him from focusing on the information he had discovered. Victor became engrossed in the subject and pursued it further when he was a university student. His passion culminated in the creation of the monster that haunted his life.

Cornelius Agrippa was a German theologian and polymath who also wrote about occult sciences. He wrote about magic and raised several questions with regards to existing information about occultism at the time.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book "Frankenstein" Victor's family travels extensively throughout Europe.  Victor's parents were very loving and kind to their son whom they showered with love and affection.  When Victor was about thirteen he learned about Cornelius Agrippa.  He was a German Philosopher who studied the occult. While staying at an Inn in Thonon he found one of his written volumes and Victor started to read it.  Victor was so excited about what the man had written that he told his father.

Victor's father's response was to tell Victor that he was wasting his time by reading the material by the man.  He tells him that it is trash.

Victor, feeling that his father really did not know or understand the man, returned home to get the rest of the man's volumes and read them.  He found the writing delightful.

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