What is Romantic about Frankenstein?
The Romantic Movement had its origination in Germany, with Johann Goethe’s play Faust regarded as the first play to reflect the characteristics of the movement. The aspects of Romanticism, which are incorporated by writers in their works, are their concerns for nature, wish to set their works in distant, exotic places, freedom and expression of human feelings, compassion for other people’s lives, rebellious thoughts against the established norms of the society, and others. The movement crossed boundaries and entered England when Samuel Taylor Coleridge adopted the above characteristics in his book of poetry titled Lyrical Ballads in 1798, followed by William Wordsworth in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads in 1800. From these works, the basic criteria for Romantic writings were established, and they influenced many writers of that time including Mary Shelley. She included many principles of Romanticism in her acclaimed work Frankenstein. Although, Frankenstein is mainly remembered for its Gothic theme and dark motifs, one can identify key characteristics of the Romantic Movement in the novel and thereby deeming it as a romantic work.
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