Contents Index

Heroes and Hideousness: Frankenstein and Failed Unity

Michael Manson and Robert Scott Stewart

SubStance, 71/72 (1993), 228-42

{228} DEFINING ROMANTICISM, whether in the arts or in the sciences, is a perilous exercise, not only because of the wide range of discourses and practices within each of those fields that have been brought under the umbrella of Romanticism, but also because some of those practices vary so greatly from one country to another, that some have argued it is best to speak not of Romanticism, but of Romanticisms.1 Yet, there is a certain irony in this reductionist approach, for whether they are discussing the arts or the sciences, and referring either to England or to Germany, most accounts of Romanticism speak of the attempt to rediscover and/or recreate a state that harks back to a distant past (Biblical, medieval, classical) in which a primal unity existed between human beings, nature and whatever creative force existed outside the individual and between all the human faculties. Further, that unity was held to have been lost as a consequence of humankind's separation from its prelapsarian condition, at which time human faculties became divided against themselves.2 Despite the diversity of discursive practices within which the Romantics worked, they seem to share the view that this desire for reunification, often signified by the quest for unity within and between the arts and the sciences or between the various human faculties (e.g. reason and imagination), grounds human creativity. In England, Coleridge gave to imagination -- that most Romantic of human faculties -- the burden of idealization and unification, while in Germany, Lorenz Oken, among others, saw in the philosophical study of natural history the potential to "unify the German people with themselves and the world . . . [and to give] them an understanding of their own nature and their relations to plants and animals" (Cunningham and Jardine 3).

Imagination as an Idealizing and Unifying Power

Indeed, Coleridge conceptualizes imagination in part as the human equivalent of a self-created ego. It is "the repetition in the finite mind of the {229} eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM" (Biographia Literaria 268). This human imaginative capacity grounds Coleridge's belief in his own divine-like creative power, his ability to burst through the constraints of the phenomenal world and create a unity between himself and the infinite through the medium of nature. His claim in the "Dejection Ode" that "we receive but what we give/ And in our life doth nature live" (47-48) celebrates the intensity of a human imaginative power that can bestow life on nature. But it also signifies nature as merely the medium which the individual of a heightened imaginative capacity is able to penetrate and so experience the infinite in which all is unified -- what Wordsworth ecstatically proclaims as the capacity to "become a living soul . . . [and] see into the life of things" ("Tintern Abbey" 46-49).

When Coleridge turns to his investigation of the "secondary imagination" in the Biographia Literaria, he does so first by describing it in functionalist terms. In other words, the secondary imagination seems to have no significant existence apart from its operation: "It dissolves, diffuses, and dissipates in order to recreate; or where this process is rendered impossible . . . it struggles to idealize and unify." Only after Coleridge discusses its function does he provide an indication of its nature: "It is essentially vital even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead" (268). The secondary imagination for Coleridge is fundamentally a process which both shapes and contains unity in the finite world. Furthermore, as Coleridge implies, it is the capacity to engage the secondary imagination that provides the basis for what the Romantics regarded as genius. This may be seen in the several significations of the artist as seer that appear throughout Romantic poetry.

Some examples may illustrate. In "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," Coleridge contemplates not only the countryside through which his friends are walking without him, but, more significantly, Charles Lamb's response to the scenes that he is experiencing. We might account for the description of the landscape by arguing that Coleridge was familiar with it, but the attribution to Lamb of certain responses arises solely within the poet's imagination, and he speaks as if he were actually with Lamb: "A delight comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad/ As I myself were there! (43-44). Coleridge has broken through the barriers that enclose the finite world in which he feels imprisoned (signified by the bower in which he sits), and witnesses the actual process through which Lamb's own imagination becomes intensified. The certitude with which the poet speaks further signifies the unity that arises in his imagination between otherwise irreconcilable experiences. The unity is not unlike that which Keats discus- {230} ses in his "Ode to a Nightingale" where he is able to take flight through his own imaginative power, "on the viewless wings of poesy" and live, if only briefly, with the bird in a timeless world in which, however dark it may be, Keats is able to describe in precise terms the details of that world:

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet . . . (40-43)
He, too, becomes a seer and, thus, is able to vitalize what must otherwise remain a mere fancy and to bring together humankind and nature in a conjunction with the infinite.

Similarly, at the end of The Prelude, as Wordsworth ascends Mount Snowdon and his surroundings become lost in the mist, he suddenly experiences an epiphany in which the finite and the infinite are unified:

. . . through a rift --
Not distant from the shore whereon we stood,
A fixed, abysmal, gloomy breathing-place --
Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams
Innumerable, roaring with one voice!
Heard over the earth and sea, and in that hour,
For so it seemed, felt by the starry heavens. (XIV 56-62)
Wordsworth is firmly convinced that the capacity to experience the vision resides in his power to see beyond the limits of the finite world, and so to experience the unity between the individual, finite mind and the infinite mind of the creative force behind the finite world of nature. He describes the vision as
. . . the emblem of a mind
That feeds upon infinity, that broods
Over the dark abyss, intent to hear
Its voices issuing forth to silent light
In one continuous stream; a mind sustained
By recognitions of transcendent power,
In sense conducting to ideal form,
In soul of more than mortal privilege. (XIV 70-77)
{231} In Germany, too, there was a similar privileging of the poet's imaginative and unifying abilities, and thus his genius. Naturphilosophie conceptualized the need to understand as poets sought to understand, through flashes of insight:
Though works of art mark the high roads to human redemption, other roads are recognized. In particular, there are aesthetic modes of contemplation of nature and poetic modes of research into nature; these too may lead to reconciliation . . . For Schelling, the philosopher of nature can attain by artifice what the artist reveals spontaneously: a view of the "holy of holies, where burns in eternal and original unity, as if in a single flame, that which in nature and history is rent asunder, and in life and action, no less than in thought, must forever fly apart." (Cunningham and Jardine 3)

The Promethean Struggle against the Finite

Here, then, is a link in Romantic thought between art and science: genius, and its concomitant attribute of creative imagination. This link is made explicit by Goethe when he states that though the term "genius" was ascribed initially "to the poet alone," in time, "another world seemed all at once to emerge; genius was looked for in the physician, in the general, in the statesman, and, before long, in all men who thought themselves eminent either in theory or in practice" (in Schaeffer, 83). Ironically, while the power of the individual flows from the constructive imagination and provides moments of boundless joy, sublimity and ecstasy for the poet and scientist alike, the same poetic power contains seeds of utmost despair and failure. We would argue that, even as poetic achievement, imaginative power and the capacity to forge unity out of disparateness were the hallmarks of Romantic genius, that genius was limited and constrained by the very finite conditions it tried to escape. This is because both the individual artist/scientist and nature, the medium through which would-be geniuses attained their illusions of divinity, are inescapably finite. Thus, Wordsworth fears a time when, no longer able to respond to the mediation of nature, his genius will fail him:
By our own Spirits are we deified.
We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.

("Resolution and Independence" 47-49).

{232} And Coleridge, in a far more intense state of depression, mourns the death of his genius in the "Dejection Ode." Nevertheless, for both poets, as for their contemporaries, it is in the Promethean struggle against the bounds of the finite, driven simultaneously by the individual's capacity for divine-like creativity and the ironic recognition of his limitations, that the individual becomes heroic.

The struggle is, of course, possible within the sciences as well as the arts,3 and in either case it is driven by the desire for a return to the primal state in which the finite and infinite were not separate. In Keats's odes, for example, we see the ongoing struggle to escape the limits which his self-consciousness imposes on his imagination, just as in The Prelude, when Wordsworth realizes that whatever his desire, he is constrained by the finitude which characterizes the humanly possible. This is poignantly depicted when Wordsworth recounts his crossing of the Simplon Pass. He had become lost in his climb toward the summit: coming across a peasant, he is informed that the summit has been crossed and his path now lies downward:

Loth to believe what we so grieved to hear
For still we had hopes that pointed to the clouds,

. . . . . . . . . . . Imagination . . .
That awful Power rose from the mind's abyss

Like an unfathered vapour that enwraps,
At once, some lonely traveller; I was lost;
Halted by an effort to break through;
But to my conscious soul I now can say --
"I recognize thy glory. . ." (VI 586-599)

As M. H. Abrams points out:
Man's infinite hopes can never be matched by the world as it is and man as he is, for these exhibit a discrepancy no less than that between his "hopes that pointed to the clouds" and the finite height of the Alpine pass. But in the magnitude of the disappointment lies its consolation; for the flash of vision also reveals that infinite longings are inherent in the human spirit, and that the gap between the inordinacy of his hope and the limits of possibility is the measure of man's dignity and greatness. (56-57)
Whether or not there is any "consolation" here is debatable. But Abrams seems right in at least one respect. There is a measure of greatness and dignity in coming to the realization that, except for brief periods of {233} time, humans cannot overcome the finite boundaries of this world and, like Sisyphus, they are doomed to a struggle which can never be abandoned unless they wish to concede to mediocrity. However, we suggest that the recognition, coupled with continued aspirations that point to the clouds, is the mark of both romantic genius and heroism.

Frankenstein's Scientific Quest: To Animate the Inanimate

Nevertheless, the basis of the Romantic gesture is every bit as significant as is the gesture itself, as the failure of Frankenstein's quest signifies. For it is not simply the self-created sense of one's Promethean restlessness that becomes the marker of genius. Rather,
the self-image of the new "men of science" was to be largely constituted by Romantic themes -- scientific discovery as the work of genius, the pursuit of knowledge as a disinterested heroic quest, the scientist as actor in a dramatic history, the autonomy of a scientific elite. (Cunningham and Jardine 8)
Frankenstein's self-indulgent, headlong rush to create life signifies his perversion of the noble search of the true Romantic, even when the inescapable end is failure. And what applied to the sciences also characterized the arts, as Percy Bysshe Shelley's proclamation that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World" (508) testifies. However much Mary Shelley may or may not have shared her husband's unbridled enthusiasm, Frankenstein inscribes her ambivalence about her own creativity and the dangers inherent in yielding to the Romantic creative impulse. The great danger is of forgetting that the investigations of science and the making of art alike are quests for bringing oneself into a unity with nature and the universe, rather than an attempt to construct a subject-object dynamic in which nature becomes reified.

Begun as a mere exercise in entertainment for whiling away the long days and nights of a rainy summer which the Shelleys and Lord Byron spent outside Geneva, Frankenstein became the inspiration for numerous future imitations -- a work of genius in Kant's sense. A focal point for these imitations is the idea of the creation of life from dead, inert matter. For the Romantics, creation stands in opposition to death. As Coleridge describes it, to re-unify that which has been dissolved, diffused, and dissipated is to (re)create. Death is described as the "fixities and definites" which are given to us in (passive) perception of the external world. Lest we doubt the heights to which Coleridge aspired, and to which he thought the mind (of {234} certain individuals -- i.e. geniuses) capable, we offer the following: the mind is "not passive": it is made "in God's image . . . in the sublimest sense, the Image of the Creator. . . ." (E. H. Coleridge 352).

The possibility of the creation of life from dead, inert material is, of course, exactly what became the obsession of Victor Frankenstein.

Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. Pursuing these reflections, I thought, that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption. (46, emphasis added)
That the project of the creation of life would be conceived in terms of science rather than, say, theology, is significant, and bound up with the establishment of modern science, which rejected both mythopoeic and Aristotelian explanations of nature. For the Ancients, who conceived of the living as that which has in itself a source of movement and the dead/inanimate as that which does not, the world of inanimate substance had to be explained anthropomorphically in terms of the living (Aristotle). Examples of this heuristic model extend from mythopoeic animism to Aristotelian astronomy, where the motion of the "heavenly bodies" was explained as the working out of final cause in which those bodies attempted to mimic the perfection of the Prime Mover, and thus engage in "perfect" circular motion.

Galileo, Newton and the whole of modern science changed the very foundation of the Ancient's explanatory model. For example, Newton's theory of inertia, worked out in the field of "celestial mechanics," maintained that though things at rest resist being set in motion, once in motion, they will continue to move by themselves, all other things being equal. Thus, modern science begins to break down the distinction between the animate and inanimate; or rather, they inverted the explanatory models of the Ancients. Unlike the Ancients, modern science attempted to explain the animate in terms of the inanimate. Examples, too numerous to mention in detail, range from Newton likening the universe to a celestial clock, to William Harvey's description of the heart as "a piece of machinery in which one wheel gives motion to another" (In Djertsen 176).

{235} Romanticism vs. Modern Science

Now, if we view Romanticism in the way Hans Eichner suggests, as "a desperate rearguard action against the spirit and implications of modern science" (8), and a return to a conceptual framework more akin to mythopoeic and/or Aristotelian thought, then we begin to see why Mary Shelley sees Frankenstein's creation as little cause for celebration. Though Frankenstein's "project" is successful in some purely mechanical sense, his creature is also a miserable failure. Certainly, it was not the type of creation the Romantics exalted. An obvious question, then, is why Frankenstein failed. We propose a three-fold explanation.

First, from a Romantic perspective, the failure can be taken to result from Frankenstein's mistaken scientific orientation, i.e., the orientation of modern science. Second, the failure can be attributed to flaws in Frankenstein's character. There is, however, a third and more intractable problem that Frankenstein's creation faces. Essentially, this is the problem explicated earlier -- though "we have hopes that point to the clouds," our hopes can never be matched, because of the finite nature of the material of this world. Mary Shelley indicates her awareness of this problem in her Preface:

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself. (9-10)
This raises the possibility that, even if problems associated with Frankenstein's character were corrected and his scientific orientation changed from "modern" to Romantic, the type of unification between the arts and the sciences that the Romantics so fervently sought may still be impossible. Before addressing this last concern, however, we begin by investigating the problematic features of the creation of the creature which can be attributed to Frankenstein's character and his conceptual framework.

Mechanicism vs. Organicism

In the passage cited, where Frankenstein all but swoons at the thought of constructing a creature, the allusion to fatherhood is telling: Frankenstein is a sexless novel. No doubt there are numerous allusions to love and to loving relationships,4 but with respect to the main characters all of these {236} are non-sexual.5 Oddly, it is the monster himself who seeks a (sexual) mate to give unity and meaning to his existence. With respect to sex, and to biological creation, the main characters may as well have been machines. This in itself is steeped in meaning for Romanticism, for both the arts and the sciences eschewed mechanism in favor of some form of organicism -- the unity we speak of above.6 Indeed, this raises the entire matter of a collision in the Romantic period between Romanticism and modern science. Though this collision was, perhaps, most apparent in Germany, it existed in England as well.

For example, Coleridge, who was himself at one time a committed Hartlean associationist, with all the reductionist and mechanist assumptions such a position entails, later rejected totally this conceptual framework. Such a view of humankind, and more particularly of the powers of the human mind, would reduce us to mere "lazy looker[s]-on on the world." Indeed, Coleridge goes so far as to say that such a view of humankind is emblematic of what he calls "all the irreligious metaphysics of modern infidels."7

In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley depicts reductionist and mechanistic chemistry, rather than organic biology, as the means to the making of life. Thus, when Frankenstein first turns his energies to creation, he disavows the pursuit of unity and turns away from human contact: he isolates himself in his apartment, keeps his ideas secret, and begins to study the sciences of anatomy and chemistry. The study of anatomy will provide him with knowledge of the parts with which he must work: the dead "fixities and definites" of experience, to use Coleridge's language. Chemistry will give to him the ability to combine these "elements" in such a way as to produce reactions which, in turn, result in the creation of new entities -- "new species," as Frankenstein puts it.

Herein lies the foundation for Frankenstein's failure. His science is grounded not in the Romantic tradition, but in the Enlightenment. Note that he begins with the reductionist assumption that anatomy will provide the initial light for him to follow. That is, if he can understand the individual body parts, he will come to understand the entire being. This is antithetical to the Romantic ideal of a unity which can be achieved only through a holistic approach, and to a more basic Romantic concept of understanding which extends beyond the operation of reason to include imagination. As Wordsworth said, "We murder to dissect." To understand the whole, then, whether in reference to a work of art or to scientific investigation, means more than an understanding of the simple parts. Or, as David Knight notes with reference to the chemist-poet Humphry Davy:

{237} Davy was impressed by the alchemist's humble search for wisdom, with the belief that knowledge is given only to those who deserve it: natural science is a personal interaction with nature, not an autopsy. (Knight 15)
One problem Frankenstein's reductionist stance presents is that from the outset, he pays no heed to those aesthetic considerations of his creation that would have been forced on him had he begun from a holistic approach. Aesthetics is rejected the moment he decides to "make the being of gigantic stature . . . eight feet in height and proportionately large. . ." (46), in order to overcome the practical difficulties in working with the minute parts which compose the average human body. Indeed, in this respect, Frankenstein violates an important assumption of Romanticism -- the integral relationship between the arts and science. In Germany, for example, Friedrich Schlegel boldly asserted that we must be "initiated into the mysteries of poetry" if we are to "penetrate into the heart of physics." The rationale for such a statement can be provided by considering Percy Bysshe Shelley's comment that poetry
is at once the centre and the circumference of knowledge; it is what comprehends all science, and to which all science must be referred. It is at the same time the root and blossom of all other systems of thought. (in Eichner 18-19)
Thus, in producing something hideous, Frankenstein not only violates aesthetic principles, but, since Romanticism subsumes science under the rubric of aesthetic constraints, he violates scientific principles as well. Initially, chemistry would not seem in the same category as anatomy, for the Romantics saw in chemistry (at least on a metaphorical level) a contrast to the mechanism of modern science. For example, Coleridge's distinction between Fancy and Imagination -- and his disparagement of the former -- rests on the claim that Fancy is mechanical and therefore "static." Products of Fancy are but recombinations of those images with which one begins: for example, one begins with images of a horse and a human to create the fanciful image of a centaur. Fancy does not have the dynamic or chemical powers that imagination has. In short, only imagination has the power to transform the constitutive images into a wholly new entity, where those initial images are no longer discernible. Even Wordsworth, who disagreed in part with Coleridge's distinction between Fancy and Imagination, saw this aspect of imaginative power. He points this out in a discussion of two lines in Paradise Lost, where Milton recounts the tale of the Messiah going forth to expel the rebellious angels from heaven:
{238} Attended by ten thousand thousand Saints
He onward came: far off His coming shone. . . . [VI.767]
Wordsworth comments, "The retinue of Saints, and the person of the Messiah Himself, [are] lost . . . and merged in the splendour of that indefinite abstraction, 'His Coming'!" (Wordsworth, Preface 755).

We suggest that, as a result of the mechanistic assumptions from which Frankenstein begins, he does not produce a creation in the Romantic sense, where the constitutive parts are "merged and lost" in the production of some unified whole. Rather, he produces a mere combination of parts, and ill-chosen ones at that. This is why his end product, the monster, is so hideous, and why the look of the monster filled Frankenstein's heart with "breathless horror and disgust" [1.4.2].

But this is not the only failing of Frankenstein: he fails too in being vainglorious. In the passage cited earlier where Frankenstein first conceives of the possibility of his creation, he is much enamored of it because this "new species would bless me as its creator," and because "many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me." Egotism is thus the guiding force here, and in this, he is not living up to the Romantic ideal of unification, but is seeking to separate and elevate himself from the rest of humankind. Coleridge described his age as "the age of personality;" an equally apt description is that of W. M. Thackeray, who described the Romantic era as the age of vanity and egoism. For, when one looks over the field of Romantics, one is hard pressed to find a self-effacing being among them, a fact in keeping with the Romantic emphasis on individual genius, and the creative capacity of these individuals.

Frankenstein, too, suffers from a lack of humility. At least one reason why he created such a monstrosity is that he was in a rush to receive the accolades of an adoring public. Both Frankenstein and his mimetic other, the narrator Walton, are guided only superficially by a desire to improve the lot of humankind through science. These utilitarian motives merely mask their true desire to become heroes of their age. Hoping to receive a great deal, but giving very little, Frankenstein gets exactly what he gave. The principle that Coleridge enunciates in the "Dejection Ode" -- that we receive but what we give -- reverberates with an irony that rejects the pretentions of anyone who, like Frankenstein, turns the greatness of Romantic heroism toward himself.

Romantic Science: A Failure?

What conclusions can we draw from this? Several possibilities suggest themselves, the primary one being that we must replace the framework of modern science with that of Romanticism. If only Frankenstein had been a Romantic scientist, any problematic features of his creation would have been rectified. But we are unwilling to impute such a position on Mary Shelley. First, Frankenstein's vanity seems a product of the Romantic era rather than an aberration of it, though the vanity is an extreme, perverse manifestation of it. Second, there is no textual evidence to support such a thesis. Rather, the novel seems to warn against Romantic egotism.

We feel, then, that it is legitimate to look beyond the text to the Romantic period itself as it relates to scientific achievement. With respect to this, one is forced to admit that Romantic science was not very productive. Granted, there were scientific advances made during this period which owed something to the tenets of Romanticism -- e.g., J. W. Ritter's work in electrochemistry and his discovery of ultraviolet light, as well as H. C. Oersted's demonstration of the connection between electricity and magnetism. But these are isolated pockets which hardly justify the enthusiastic comments by Schlegel and Shelley, cited above, that science ought to be subsumed under the dictates of Romantic aesthetics.8

Finally, as we noted earlier with respect to English Romantic poetry, even within the sphere of the aesthetic, the Romantics were uncertain about the efficacy of their creative powers in the creation of the unity they sought. Perhaps, then, we ought to conclude that any unification between the arts and science is doomed to failure. For it would seem that attempts at unification can proceed in either of two ways, neither of which can succeed. First, the attempt can be made to subsume art under science, but as we have argued, Frankenstein denies that this is a viable option. Mary Shelley makes this explicit in her Preface to Frankenstein, when she says with respect to the creation of the monster:

Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. His success would terrify the artist. (10)
The second path to follow would be that of subsuming science under art, as the Romantics attempted. But then we are faced with the historical fact that Romantic science was more or less a failure. Thus, we seem forced to conclude that attempts to reconcile art and science, in the nineteenth century at least, have been doomed to failure. {240} However, it seems unfair and/or misguided to extend this conclusion into the twentieth century. It might be argued that what we have presented here is merely an exegesis of an historical piece of fiction. And, moreover, it is a piece of fiction within the Romantic tradition which, some would say, no longer characterizes our culture; therefore, our conclusion travels well beyond our evidence. It may well be that Romanticism has little to say to us anymore.

Romanticism: Still Relevant?

We admit that this criticism is germane, and if true would disallow us from making so bold and general a conclusion. Yet, we would argue, the criticism is based on a premise which may be quite false that we have, thankfully, left Romanticism behind. We certainly have no space to make a complete argument here. Nevertheless, we note that both Arthur Lovejoy and Michel Foucault, in their different ways, maintain that Romanticism still forms the primary paradigm of modern thought: its lantern light is still the one that illuminates our world.9 If this is true, then the problems Mary Shelley posits in Frankenstein remain our problems. And even though we in no way concur with most of what C. P Snow said in his (in)famous The Two Cultures, he was undeniably correct that we in academe in particular, and in society in general, perpetuate the division between the sciences and the arts, and thus seem determined not to understand one another.

The problem, then, is how to resolve this. We suggest that a good place to start is by considering the figure of the Romantic hero. Recall that s/he is one who recognizes the unbridgeable gap between those things s/he seeks to unify (the finite and the infinite, different aspects of the self, humankind and nature, the arts and sciences) and who continues the Promethean struggle. Perhaps the struggle ought not to be the unification of art and science, and the creation of poet-scientists. Rather, the struggle ought to be the production of individuals capable of entering into multidisciplinary discourses -- individual poets who understand science, and individual scientists who understand the arts. Perhaps these are the true Romantic heroes and geniuses.


1. Arthur LoveJoy as long ago as 1948 suggests the plural. See his "On the Discrimination of Romanticism."

2. In secular terms, this separation can be traced in part to certain aspects of modern science, in this case to the denial of Aristotelian teleology, for teleology serves to link nature with the human. For more on this point, see Eichner 11.

3. See Knight for a fuller discussion of this idea.

4. Although we have no space here to discuss these other relationships, it is worth noting that they are all problematic and/or "deviant" (e.g., homoerotic or incestuous) in some respect.

5. For example, Frankenstein's love for his friend Clerval (and later for the narrator Walton); his love for his (adopted) sister, and he hopes, his future wife; Walton's love for his sister, and so on. All of these fall outside the general parameters of Romantic love.

6. See, for example, René Wellek's famous paper, "The concept of Romanticism in Literary History," in Wiley, p. 22.

7. Coleridge, cited in Wiley 122. Also see Keats's Lama, which also depicts this hostility:

Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine --
Unweave a rainbow. . . (ll. 229-237)
8. Furthermore, it could be argued that successes such as these can be attributed, at least in part, to the training these people received in modern science. Thus, their success was in complementing tenets of Romanticism with those of modern science; not in rejecting the latter in favor of the former.

9. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being and Foucault. See also Eichner.

Works Cited

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Coleridge, E. H., ed. The Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. 1. London: Oxford University Press, 1895.

Coleridge, Samuel T. "Dejection: An Ode," "This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison." Coleridge: Selected Poetry and Prose. Ed. Elizabeth Schneider. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965. Cunningham, Andrew and Nicholas Jardine, eds. Romanticism and the Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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-----. "On the Discrimination of Romanticism." Essays in the History of Ideas. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1948.

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