MARY SHELLEY’S "FRANKENSTEIN" AND BYRON
This paper examines the various influences on the young Mary Shelly in the composition of
Frankenstein. The delineations in Shelley's novel reflect the moods and feelings of several influences
upon her work. These influences include Paradise Lost and the myth of Prometheus, which Mary is to
have read the year before the conception of Frankenstein, and most importantly her close relationships
with literary figures, mainly her father, William Godwin, her husband, Percy, and her new acquaintance,
Lord Byron. The allegorical composition of the novel provides for examination of all of these influences.
To concentrate on one of these influences would probably reduce the value of the work. However, we
suggest that the main impetus of the novel lies in the influences of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. The
personas and poetry of both men can be seen as reflected in the characterization of Frankenstein, but
this paper generally focuses on Byron’s influence.