Morality and Ethnics of Frankenstein's Daemon and Shakespeare's Richard III Thesis

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Ethics & Morality in Frankenstein & Richard III

Ethics and Morality in Frankenstein and Richard III

Literature has provided mankind with entertainment for centuries. Through literature, authors were able to express their thoughts. What Frankenstein and Richard III convey about morality and ethics?

According to a presentation about Ethical Decision-Making in the California State University, Northridge website, "ethics is a conscious stepping back and reflecting on morality." On the other hand, morality is defined as behaviors and beliefs about human decency, right and wrong, good and evil, proper and improper. An analogy with music and musicology helps explain the difference between the definition of Ethics and Morality. Morality is said to be comparable to music and ethics is comparable to musicology. According to the California State University, musicology is "a conscious reflection on music"; following the analogy, ethics is therefore a conscious reflection of morality.

In order to analyze how ethics and morality is embodied in Frankenstein and Richard III, a recollection of both stories is necessary.

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Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is a story about the life of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who is an intelligent young man. The quest for scientific knowledge was Victor Frankenstein's obsession. He was particularly fixated with the mystery of giving life. Working hard in his laboratory alone, he spent all his time in isolation in creating a being out of the organs of dead men. Not realizing the full extent of the consequences of his experiment, Victor Frankenstein created a monstrous being. Victor Frankenstein ended up abandoning the monstrous being he created because he was so appalled by his creation's repulsive appearance.

TOPIC: Thesis on Morality and Ethnics of Frankenstein's Daemon and Shakespeare's Richard III Assignment

The daemon that Frankenstein created was gentle and sensitive at the beginning. Just like any child, it was curious about everything there is in the world. It yearned to be loved. However, all of these initial characteristics changed largely because of its isolation. Having experienced only cruel encounters with humans, Frankenstein's daemon became bitter and revengeful. And because of its hideous appearance which all human feared, the monster was forced to hide itself, away from people. Frankenstein's daemon yearned most for nothing else but to feel that it belongs to a group or to someone. However, its hideous appearance prevented Frankenstein's daemon to establish any meaningful connection with another human being. This drove the monster to become vengeful to its creator. It ended up killing the people who are most dear to Victor Frankenstein.

The desire to make its creator feel the loneliness and isolation that it feels drove Frankenstein's daemon to kill the important people in his creator's life. Looking at the world from the daemon's perspective, the daemon considered taking revenge against its creator as right and proper. To Frankenstein's daemon, what it did was only right. In doing what it did, the daemon remained true to its morals and ethics. However, Frankenstein's daemon knows nothing much about human ethics and morality precisely because nobody taught the daemon what is right and wrong, and what is proper and improper. Instead of acting within the universal framework of what is ethical and moral, it acted based on what it thought what ethical and moral. In a deeper analysis, Victor Frankenstein's daemon is not really the monstrous being that he created, it was himself.

According to Joseph Kain, Victor Frankenstein was so blinded by his pursuit of knowledge that "he cannot perceive any of the warning signs of his own obsession… in such a state, how could he possibly consider the morality or the consequences of his actions?" (par. 5).

As a creator, Victor Frankenstein has an ethical responsibility towards its creation. He has a parental responsibility and it was his obligation to teach and guide the monstrous being which he created. In leaving his monstrous creation to its own devices, Victor Frankenstein exhibited an unethical conduct. As the daemon's creator, Victor Frankenstein has the responsibility to initiate it to the world and to teach it what is wrong from what is right. However, when Victor Frankenstein deserted his creation, he didn't feel responsible for it, "even after Victor flees from his living creation in horror, he makes no mention of any feeling of responsibility - not towards the Creature,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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