his countenance bespoke bitter anguish, combined with disdain and
The nouns here are all associated with Satan and the Satanic in
Paradise Lost: e.g. "anguish" (II.568; VI.340); "disdain" (I.98; II.680; V.666); "malign" (III.553; IV.503; VII.189). And yet, the framing language
forces us to consider perspective: "bespoke" is not the same as
"constitutes" in its implicit representation of reality; and if Victor, even
as he articulates it, openly remarks that he "scarcely observed this,"
where, then, might his terms come from? As we will learn from the
Creature himself (2.7.4), it is easy to insert oneself (or
others) into the mythic texture of Paradise Lost: thus it might
appear, as it were, that Victor does so first, here defining the Creature as
Satanic not from sharp empirical observation but from literary -- that is
to say, cultural -- convention.