In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the antagonist and protagonist changes throughout the course of the plot. In the earlier part of the novel nature is the protagonist and man is the antagonist, but as the plot progresses nature is forced to protect herself by becoming the antagonist and making man the protagonist. By the end of the novel both of the examples of man and nature’s antagonist characteristics lead to their inevitable destruction. In the beginning of the novel, Victor or man, is the antagonist and nature is the protagonist.
Victor’s overwhelming hubris makes him strive to achieve his goal by any means necessary. Victor becomes so blinded by his passion for his goal that he fails to see the evil in what he is achieving. Nature, on the other hand, is the obvious protagonist, because Nature has not done anything. The role of antagonist and protagonist changes throughout the rest of the novel, but nevertheless, Victor is the antagonist because of the theme man cannot augment nature without destroying the very thing he is attempting to perfect.
When the monster (also Nature) is created, the role of antagonist and protagonist changes due to enforcement. When the monster was created, it wasn’t the antagonist. It tried to do many good things such as saving a small girl. Those good deeds were never rewarded, causing the monster to be disgusted with humanity making it, by enforcement to be come the antagonist. Victor at this point becomes the protagonist as the monster goes throughout its rampage killing loved ones of Victor.
The best example of the monsters turning into the antagonist is after he saves a mans daughter and the man shoots and him. The monster, after this even says that this was the last time he did anything good. Mans cruel attitude towards the monster was not the only cause of his turning to antagonist, Victor’s attitude as well was a major contributor. Nature is forced to protect herself (or the monster) and man (or Victor) takes the heat making nature the antagonist and man the protagonist. Towards the end of the novel, the presence of a defined protagonist and antagonist becomes unclear.
Victor becomes obsessed with killing the monster, and the monster becomes obsessed with putting Victor through torture. Both of these flaws of hubris lead to both downfalls. Victor ends up dying trying to kill the monster, and the monster kills’ himself seeing that Victor is dead. Both the monster and the Victor could be called the antagonist at the end of the novel because both with to harm each other. In the novel Frankenstein, the role of antagonist and protagonist often changes throughout the course of the plot.
At the beginning of the novel, Victor’s hubris causes him to be the antagonist, making nature, or the monster, the protagonist. Nature is forced to protect herself because man cannot augment nature without destroying the very thing he is attempting to perfect. Therefor nature becomes the antagonist, and man the protagonist. At the end of the novel both nature and man are blinded by goals causing both to be antagonist, as well as leading to their destruction. Throughout the novel the antagonist and protagonist change due to character flaws and romantic ideas.