The Theme Of Truth In Frankenstein And Shakespeare's Macbeth

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“The truth will set you free-- but first it will make you miserable.” Misattributed speakers of this quote range from Mark Twain to James A. Garfield. Although their history remains hazy, the words clearly ring true for all aspects of life, spanning eons of time-- even as far back as Shakespearean-era England. British literature is rich and diverse, but the idea of truth weaves its way into numerous novels, plays, and essays. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the truth harms characters once they accept it as fact.
The title of Shakespeare’s play may read Macbeth, but the tyrannical king is not the only character affected by the weird sisters’ predictions. Banquo hears of Macbeth’s royal future, but the witches mention
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The monster born from the scientific endeavors also suffers from accepting the truths presented to him. He appalls Frankenstein so much that the man falls into a fever-induced comatose state for weeks. Hiding away in De Lacey’s shed, the monster believes the family will welcome him and look past his ghastly appearance. Relations begin strong, as the monster enters the home when De Lacey, the blind father, is alone, but once his children enter, they chase the monster from their property. The monster thinks, “Why did I live? Why… did I not extinguish the spark of existence which [Frankenstein] had so wantonly bestowed?” (97) after he accepts that humans-- even those who house the needy, like Safie-- will always fear him because of his appearance. By accepting this truth, he allows himself to be harmed by it, as this is when his endless misfortunes begin. Now, his hatred for the human race consumes him and he strives to make his maker’s life miserable. Because the monster presents himself to humans, the truth that no one accepts him leaves him vulnerable and able to be hurt. Like Frankenstein’s science project, some may called Macbeth a monster. As king, he relies on the witches’ warnings that, “for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth” (Shakespeare IV.i.80-81). As it seems impossible to not be “woman born”, Macbeth regards his reign as unstoppable. This changes when he battles Macduff, who admits, “Tell thee Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripped” (V.viii.15-16), revealing the truth. Macbeth must accept his mortality as his killer stares him down, allowing the truth to kill him. His change of heart seems impossible when compared to earlier acts, but the weight at which he worships the witches’ premonitions, it is simple to see how he understands his time of death has arrived; truth reigning over Macbeth. Both Macbeth and Frankenstein’s monster watch the truth kill, as it takes

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