Who are the protagonist, antagonist, and hero in Frankenstein? Why? Support it with quotes.

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator
"I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create." So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

Certainly the protagonist is the "daemon" himself:The creature. He is a tragic protagonist, though I have a hard time dubbing him a tragic hero. He achieved no goal. He was plain angry. He is the protagonist, nevertheless.

We know this because, although Victor is the catalyst for the action, it is the creature (whom people erroneously call "Frankenstein") who develops the rising action, climax, and end to the story. He also serves as an anti hero: A much flawed, deeply wounded and highly stereotypical character that inspires both love and hatred in the reader.

The antagonist is Victor- Although HE is "THE" Frankenstein, he serves as a catalyst for the rising action , climax, and ending of the story. He is the creator of the creature,and we know he is the antagonist because he is in constant conflict with the protagonist, who is his creation. Its hard to like Victor, as well, and most of us do not see him as a tragic hero either.

So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

From the very beginning, as the Artic explorer is writing his letters explaining how he found Victor, we already see that Victor has been a victim of his creation. Hence, even the first letter forshadows the roles of each character.

There is no hero in the story. Nobody fixes the conflict at hand. A hero is a character who uses his or her wit to resolve the conflict of the story. Nobody fixed anything,in fact, we are left with some doubts as to what occured after Victor was found, and the creature was seen.

 

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Victor Frankenstein is the protagonist of the novel. It is he for whom the book is named, the plot predominantly follows Victor's experiences and feelings, and, although there is Walton's frame story and the creature's interior story, Victor is the subject of the majority of the story's action. His creation of the nameless creature who becomes the story's antagonist constitutes much of the rising action, as does their confrontation on the ice when the creature demands a companion, Victor's travels through Europe, and his aborted attempt to create that companion. It includes the deaths of Victor's brother, William; his friend, Justine; and his best friend, Henry. The sheer quantity of exposition—background information—concerning Victor, his mother and father, his "cousin" (and, later, wife), his early family life, and so forth helps us to identify him as the protagonist. Much of this could be used as evidence. Further, his involvement in the story's climax—the creature's murder of Elizabeth and Victor's subsequent vow to destroy him—also identifies him as the protagonist. You could also quote this section for support, as it helps to identify the creature as the antagonist, the character with whom the protagonist conflicts.

If there is a "hero" of the book, Captain Walton comes the closest. He, like Victor, is driven by the need to discover and a desire to help humankind and win glory, but unlike Victor, he exercises compassion for others. When his crew asks him to turn the ship around, he doesn't want to, but he does as they ask despite his intense disappointment. He writes to his sister, "The die is cast; I have consented to return if we are not destroyed." Walton will not risk his men's lives without their permission to do so, and this means, at least, that he has learned something by Victor's example.

Read the study guide:
Frankenstein

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question