Why is the monster in Frankenstein the villain of the story? 

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Creature in Frankenstein could be conceived as the villain by many readers because of his many horrifying deeds, but he could also be considered a dark 'anti-hero.'  An anti-hero is a protagonist who lacks most of the good characteristics that most normal heroes would have, like courage, kindness, morality.

The Creature, despite his wicked ways, does strike a sympathetic chord with the reader.  He has been neglected and abandoned by his Victor, his creator.  The creature has a hideous form, which because of its frightening size and appearance, makes it impossible for him to find any sort of companionship.  He is lonely and miserable, and even though he is a terrible creature, he longs for and appreciates beauty. 

Despite all of these more sympathetic aspects to the Creature, an objective reader must evaluate his rather long list of bad behavior:

  • Killed William, Victor's brother.  Then Justine takes the blame because the Creature framed her by planting evidence on her while she slept.  She gets a death sentence, so he effectively is responsible for her death as well.
  • Kills Elizabeth, Victor's new bride, on their wedding night.
  • Kills Victor's best friend, Henry Clerval.

The Creature could definitely be considered a villain for these reasons alone.  Elizabeth's murder was completely premeditated and all about vengeance. 

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