What events occur on the wedding night in Frankenstein?

Quick answer:

Victor's wedding night is the most important part of the novel. It is here that the creature makes good on his promise to Victor to visit him on his wedding night. After a long day of travel, Victor and Elizabeth arrive at their new home. They take dinner and retire for the evening. When Victor hears a scream from Elizabeth's room, he runs there without hesitation and finds her lifeless body. He has lost her forever because of his unnatural creation. The creature has robbed him of "the best hope, and the purest creature of earth".

Expert Answers

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

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor approaches his wedding night with the memory of the creature's threat in his mind. Because Victor would not create a mate for the monster, the monster promises to visit Victor on his wedding night to Elizabeth.

Victor and Elizabeth marry and travel on a ship to where they will live. They stand on the deck while Victor worries about confronting the demonic creature that haunts him: for he is sure that the creature will appear as promised. Finally, he sends Elizabeth to their cabin, while he searches the ship for traces of his pursuer.

Suddenly I heard a shrill and dreadful scream. It came from the room into which Elizabeth had retired. As I heard it, the whole truth rushed into my mind, my arms dropped...

Great God! Why did I not then expire! Why am I here to relate the detruction of the best hope, and the purest creature of earth? She was there, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed...Could I behold this and live?...

While I still hung over her in the agony of despair, I happened to look up...I saw at the open window a figure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on the face of the monster; he seemed to jeer, as with his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse of my wife.

All that the creature promised Victor has come true: he does visit Victor on his wedding night, and as inferred, he robs Elizabeth of her life and Victor of his reason for living. It will be from this event that Victor will inevitably decide to pursue the creature, even if it kills him.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial