Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, encompasses every definition of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is not the normal hero a reader always envisions, but rather a character that causes suffering to others. This is shown through Victor Frankenstein himself in this novel.
Victor Frankenstein would be classified as a tragic hero in this novel because of his choice to “play God”. This is shown through him creating the Creature. He knew that this could be dangerous, but he continued to work as if nothing could go wrong for over two sleepless years.
He assembled the Creature, hoping that it would be able to help humankind, and be his friend when no one else would. Victor was terrified of the Creature. “I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being that I had created, I rushed out of the room, and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep”(30).
This quote shows how horrific he perceived the “monster” he had just created. Victor begins to wonder why he had spent so much time creating the Creature, and why he had thought that he would help mankind. Although Victor saw the Creature as a monster, the Creature wanted nothing more than to be loved and wanted by his creator.
When the Creature was denied the love and affection he so longed, he did become a killing machine. “ Character, English-language films, At that moment he sees a gigantic figure illuminated by a bolt of lightning… and he instinctively realizes that that it was the Creature who killed his brother William” (Kelley). After the death of William and Justine, and the woman accused of killing William and was sentenced to death for it, the Frankenstein family went on a vacation to the mountains, where Victor runs into the Creature. The Creature describes himself as “miserable beyond all living things”, and that misery made him a friend. The monster makes a request of Victor to listen to his story and was hopeful that Victor will understand his position. The Creature requests that Victor make him a mate, and if he does, he will run away with her and never return. Victor agrees to construct a mate for Creature, but abandons this in the middle of the project. This could show how much of a tragic hero that Victor really is. Since he abandoned the female monster, the original creature kills his best friend, Henry, and his wife, Elizabeth.
If Victor Frankenstein had only cared more about the Creature and mankind other than himrself, there might have been a happy ending to the novel. But since this was not true, the novel ended in tragedy, further explaining the role Victor Frankenstein had on the plot as a tragic hero.