Agrippa’s work inspired Frankenstein and he describes the effect of it, as “a new light seemed to dawn upon my mind”. This is the birth of his obsession As Frankenstein grows older his craving for knowledge dwells and if anything becomes more potent as his obsession grows. One could think that Frankenstein’s thirst for knowledge is partly driven by his fathers comments such as calling the work of Agrippa and such scientists “trash”, Frankenstein later explains that if instead of such remarks his father had taken time to explain that Agrippa’s principles had all become highly disreputable he would have “thrown Agrippa aside”.
Instead he was left to read the book and decide for himself if it was “trash” or the highest level of intelligence. During the novel Frankenstein even names his father as the sole contributor to his obsession with science “if instead of his remarks my father had taken the pains to explain that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded… I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside”. Frankenstein’s obsession for knowledge is constantly growing especially during his days at Ingolstadt but is accelerated when M Waldman starts to teach him.
Frankenstein immediately gains a good understanding and high mutual level of respect for each other “an aspect expressive of the greatest benevolence”. Waldman later explains that “miracles” can happen, this gives wind to Frankenstein’s imagination and after Waldman’s Death ultimately leads him to fulfill his wildest dreams to be respected, obtain more knowledge and most importantly “play God”. Frankenstein’s obsession is at its strongest during the creation of the monster. By this point the thirst for knowledge has even started to take over his inner thoughts “Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus the lords of my imagination”.
This shows that due to Frankenstein’s self isolation, working through both day and night “darkness has no effect upon my mind” he has lost all touch with the borders of society and even reality, furthermore the use of the word Lord implies that Frankenstein looks up to Agrippa etc as if they were Godly figures. One very powerful point that Shelley puts across during the novel is that with desire and obsession come consequences; the most potent example of this comes with the consequences that come with Frankenstein’s ambition that leads to the creation of the monster.
After the monster’s creation Frankenstein quickly comes to his senses and sees the now dubbed “monster” for the monstrosity it is and rejects it “how can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe”. Now rejected the monster soon learns that rejection and hatred are the only affection he will receive from man, although he does find friendship with an old blind man for a while but he is soon discovered by the man’s family, beaten and driven away. This shows that although he meant well only hatred and loneliness came as a consequence of Frankenstein’s selfishness.
Now realizing he must live in solitude the monster goes back to Frankenstein to ask him to create a companion for him, “you must create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being… I demand it of you as a right that you must not refuse to concede”. This statement shows that there is a degree of control about the monster’s persona with regards to Frankenstein; furthermore the word demand implies that instead of asking Frankenstein to do this he is now ordering him as if he were a superior power and intellect, this is another consequence.
Frankenstein is reluctant to fulfill the monsters request as he knows it will more than likely double the problem, Frankenstein explains his reasons for this to the monster, the monster brushes these aside and blames Frankenstein solely for any misfortunes he has endured and uses persuasive and empathetic language in order to change Frankenstein’s mind, “have I not suffered enough that you seek to increase my misery” this language Shelley uses makes the reader start to sympathise for the monster.
In addition to this the monster threatens not just Frankenstein but his loved ones also, “if I cannot inspire love I will cause fear” this is a threat aimed at Frankenstein’s one real weak point his family. Frankenstein eventually agrees to make his companion and is told “I shall watch the progress with unutterable anxiety… when you are ready I shall appear”, this implies that now that Frankenstein has agreed to take the task he cannot escape it unscathed. When Frankenstein eventually decides not to complete his “most abhorred task” the monster is enraged and holds to his threat “if I can not inspire love I will cause fear”.
Because of Frankenstein’s refusal to make the monster a companion the monster starts to kill his family, starting with his younger brother Will, he later kills his wife Elizabeth on their wedding night and then his father dies, this is but another consequence of his obessesion. The death that seems to effect Frankenstein most is that of Elizabeth, he describes the effect as “why am I here to retale the destruction of the best hope an purest creature of Earth”, this means that he has played a major part in the destruction of not only his wife but the “purest being on Earth”.
Frankenstein eventually pays the ultimate consequence for his creation of the monster with his life. After all the death of his loved ones that he has had to endure Frankenstein finally decides he has nothing more to loose and decides he will find and confront the monster but because of exhaustion he cannot go on, there is a strong sense of irony about the deaths of Frankenstein and his loved ones as they all came as a consequence of Frankenstein wanting to create life.
Frankenstein is a well-known classic about on man’s ambition to create life, but ironically as a result of its creation; ultimately life is destroyed. 1 Jack Sponder Explore Discuss and Consider the ways in which Shelley Presents the Discovery Scientific Possibilities, Obsession and Consequences of desire In Frankenstein Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.