Contents Index

but half made up

Given the erudition of her father and her husband, Mary Shelley would have known of Aristophanes' account, in Plato's Symposium, of the origin of love occuring when primitive man was split in two: thereafter one half was always yearning for the completion of the self in the other. (P. B. Shelley was to translate the Symposium in the spring of 1818.) Here she plays against the myth ironically, for, as we will see in the sequel, Victor Frankenstein and his Creature will pursue a course of adversarial antagonism that is as passionately intense as love. It is frequently figured in the imagery of doubling and mirroring.