Religion has foundation in our lives whether we choose to identify it or not. By recognizing the literary works of Mary Shelley and Shakespeare, we can intellectually inherit the limitations of our power as human beings and the important role the Judeo-Christian God plays in our political, social systems and psychological conditions. Both stories pose the question: Did God create man in his own image or did man create God in his image? Yet both cautionary tales take different route in answering it. Frankenstein delves into the baseness of existence without the intelligent plan of God, and the dangers of replacing God with flawed mortals. King Lear, on the other hand, represents the embodiment of God through a mortal king, and the dangers of bestowing absolute sovereignty into one person.
[...] (Nagy, 98) Frankenstein is likewise a cautionary tale of man and his desire to obtain advantage, playing the role of God. In the case of Victor Frankenstein, his vice is his selfish want of knowledge. The battle between science and religion plays a specific factor in the theme of this novel in addition to the context in which it was written. During the time when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, many new developments in the field of science were being made. [...]
[...] Because of the division, the kingdom, once united by a set of rules and moral standards, fell. Lear can neither decent into heaven or hell, the symbolic Roman Catholic purgatory, because he blames himself for the fall of his kingdom. (Wilson, 20) During the ever-symbolic storm in the climax of the play, taking place on the heath, Lear makes his deepest decent into the inner-terrain of his being, pronouncing not only that he will consider his actions, "I'll pray, and then I'll sleep” (Line 27) but later that he feels responsible for the political upheaval blasphemed by his transgressing daughters Gonerill and Regan. [...]
[...] Frankenstein and King Lear are lyrical masterpieces that are both a pleasure to read. These works are not merely a flight of fancy, while their sole purpose is to entertain the audience, graver subjects lie at the heart of them. If you think of a book or play as a medium to convey truth from a lie, works of fiction become timeless. It can be said that writers are the only “truthful liars” in the universe, and Shelly and Shakespeare, being profound masters of their craft, tell lies in such a way to tell one of the most prolific truths. [...]
[...] This division of sovereignty, commonly referred to as “popular sovereignty” was not a concrete idea, it needed more time to congeal and rectify itself as a political and social norm. Meanwhile, Europe was in the midst of religious and scientific frenzy where no one could point out where church and science met. In Frankenstein, the pursuit of scientific knowledge is addressed as a pattern throughout the novel via As children, we all learn about the duality of fire: that it is both beautiful and alluring but when touched, might burn your flesh. [...]
[...] It is Victor who, in spite of being burned once, plays again with fire and creates a secondary creature. While he shows sympathy for his creature, he hasn't learned his lesson. The simple conclusion we can draw from this is: don't touch the fire. In reality, the fire of knowledge and human nature to reach truth is an unavoidable force to be reckoned with. In Mary Shelley's time, the discovery of sources of energy created an atmosphere of scientific and religious upheaval. [...]
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