Rhetorical Analysis Of Mary Shelley's Speech

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energy to persuade Captain Robert Walton’s crew to complete their mission. Frankenstein’s speech contradicts his previous dangerously ambitious and irresponsible actions. His speech promotes heroics and sublimity, two major values of the Romantic poet. Reading Frankenstein as a criticism of the Romantic poets who surrounded Mary Shelley, Frankenstein is a failed Romantic who takes Shelley’s contemporaries’ ideals too far. Shelley highlights the hypocrisy of this failed Romantic through Frankenstein’s uncharacteristic and ironic rhetoric and through his contradictory ideals attached to a changing landscape.
While Frankenstein’s speech values the heroic ambitions of the Romantic poets, he uses the same manipulative rhetoric as the Creature to do so, exemplifying Shelley’s warning about the limits of the Romantic poet. Frankenstein’s progression from rhetorical questions about heroics to the imperative tense convince even Walton, who does not notice the contradictions between Frankenstein’s previous account of his irresponsibility
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Much of Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein, however, has been manipulated by an external influence. As Bette London highlights in her essay “Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Spectacle of Masculinity,” Percy Shelley modifies Mary Shelley’s straightforward prose into the ornate phrases which seem embellished to the contemporary reader (401). The Creature’s effect on Frankenstein’s rhetoric could therefore be allegorical to Percy Shelley’s effect on Mary Shelley’s writing, although Victor Frankenstein is often interpreted as a proxy for Percy Shelley (London 392). Regardless, Mary Shelley did not approve of Frankenstein’s rhetoric, and the irony in Percy Shelley’s manipulation of Frankenstein further supports her criticism of the Romantic

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