Frankenstein, the classic novel written by English author Mary Shelley at the young age of nineteen, contains heavy influences of the Christian religion, which played an imperative role in European culture during the early nineteenth century. Shelley's novel is replete with biblical allusions and parallels as it tells the story of a young, knowledge-seeking scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his human-inspired monstrous Creation. Throughout Frankenstein, connections to Christianity through biblical references such as Paradise Lost by John Milton are evident, as well as the overwhelming and undeniable notion that God will undoubtedly punish those who threaten his superiority.
The main character, Victor Frankenstein, said, "Learn from me…how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." (50, Shelley). By nature, Mary Shelley was referring to God, as she warns man not to challenge or aim to be more powerful than God. With Shelley's warning of obtaining knowledge accompanies the connection to the biblical tale of The Creation of Adam and Eve. Victor Frankenstein's knowledge is a significant representation of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, while his Creation represents the Tree of Life, both of which were prohibited by God. Frankenstein's scientific revelation threatened the very foundation of God's superiority, his sole ability to create life. God gave Victor the ultimate punishment of death for such an unbelievable threat. On page 269, when Shelley says, "About half an hour afterwards he attempted to speak, but was unable; he pressed my hand feebly, and his eyes closed for ever, while the irradiation of a gentle smile passed away from his lips," she implies that Frankenstein continued to be punished during death, as his smile faded when he died.
Before his eventual death, however, Frankenstein again, in page 206, attempted to be greater than God was, and chose not to create a female mate for his original male Creation. In assuming the responsibility to make or not make life, Victor Frankenstein challenged the ultimate authority of God. Victor's punishment was later given, when the Creation promised to seek revenge on Frankenstein to make his life as miserable as possible,
"You may hate, but beware! Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravish from you your happiness forever…You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains — revenge, henceforth dearer than light or food! I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict."...