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Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera are both popular pieces of gothic literature. While they are different in many aspects, the novel and the play share similar content and this essay will explore their similarities.
Majority of the choices that people make are stemmed from previous experiences in their life. In the gothic novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley and the play The Phantom of the Opera, written by both have monsters whose antagonist behaviors are a direct result from their past experiences. Both pieces of literature use different gothic elements throughout, but also are similar in that the creature and the Phantom both have alike emotions, origins and actions. (
In Frankenstein, the monster is created from other human and animal parts and once he is successfully brought to life, he is immediately abandoned “…Breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room…” (Shelley, 1991, 43). The monster Victor creates is “born” with a blank slate so all the encounters he has affect him in some way. Being abandoned by his creator is what shapes him in to becoming the horrific monster Shelley portrays him to be. The creature begins to kill people due to his craving for revenge against his creator. Soon after he begins to feel remorseful and questions his entire existence. The monster later seeks for companionship and love since he never experienced those emotions, and threatens Victor to make him a female partner, “You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being” (Shelley, 1991, 123). Victor created a monster that reacts according to the way he has been treated and his actions throughout the novel prove that.
One of the most popular and well known pieces of gothic literature is The Phantom of the Opera play, which takes place in the Paris Opera House. The Opera House is believed to be haunted, but the phantom is simply a man with a face deformity who stays hidden and torments actors and managers on the set. The Phantom was abandoned by his family because of his physical appearance and he never shows his face until Christine Daae rips the mask off his face, revealing what he truly looks like. Christine is unbothered by the way he looks, and kisses the Phantom. The plot of the play is the Phantom trying to gain Christine’s heart because he seeks love and acceptance, just as the monster did.
Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera share many similar qualities in that both the monsters desire to be wanted by someone. Both of the characters were deserted at an early point in their life which manipulated their perspective on life. The monsters both commit actions that negatively affect everyone else because they want others to feel the same burden they do.