Romanticism was a movement in art and literature that started in the late 18th century and continued throughout the 19th century in Europe and America. The movement rebelled against classicism. The basic idea in Romanticism is that reason cannot explain everything. This in contrast to the Age of Enlightenment, which focused more on scientific and rational thinking, Romantics searched for deeper appeals, emotional directness of personal experience and visionary relationship to imagination and aspiration. Romantics favoured more natural, emotional and personal artistic themes. Some of the most notable writers of Romanticism were Mary Shelley, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Friedrich von Schiller.
Many of the characteristic features of Romanticism can be seen in Frankenstein written by Mary Shelly. Romantic writers always try to focus on sublime moments and experiences in their work. In Frankenstein, we see this by the quest of Victor Frankenstein to achieve the sublime moment by the creation of a monstrous living being through his quotes “No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success”. Also Victor Frankenstein is portrayed as a Romantic character with an imagination through the words “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source” that he wanted to be a creator. Victor Frankenstein’s character was a dreamer which is a characteristic feature of romanticism. Also in Frankenstein, nature is one of Romantic characteristic portrayed elegantly. In the beginning of the novel, the reader can get the feel for the north pole where the play starts. Robert Walton’s ship was stuck because of seas full of impassable ice. There meets Victor weakened by cold in a sledge. In the play, victor compares the landscapes of Orkney with that of his native country as distinct. He describes Orkney as cold and rough whereas Switzerland was colorful and lively. He explains the beauty of nature in his words as “It was a most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more
plentiful harvest or the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage, but my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature”. Frankenstein is clearly a romantic novel striving against the
traditional boundaries. Victor was involved in developing a monster against the advice of his professors. He was trying to be a perfect scientist. Not only Victor, the monster character too was portrayed to strive...