Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Kay Satre

Second Advisor

Debra Bernardi

Third Advisor

John Ries


This thesis explores Romanticism presented in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I incorporate Anne K. Mellor’s work in identifying Romanticism’s two main forms: feminine and masculine Romanticism. The Romantic ideologies as we know them today were established by the “High Romantics.” The leaders in the movement include literary figures such as Lord Byron, Wordsworth, and Keats. They produced work reflecting the values of “masculine” Romanticism, a form that revered unrestrained emotion, the sublime, and the desire for domination. Mary Shelley, along with other female writers, also expressed the ideals of Romanticism, but their writings exhibited an alternate ideological form called “feminine” Romanticism. In her famous novel, Shelley critiques the values of masculine Romanticism and advocates ideals of feminine Romanticism by revealing the superiority of reason over excess passion, subtle beauty of nature over the extreme forces of the sublime, and mutual affections over the desire for power.