Context and Gothic Themes

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Context

  • Romanticism- late 18th century, prized intuition and emotion over rationalism, valued nature and imagination, elevated the heroic individual- Shelley critiques Romantic ideals
  • Galvanism- 1791, Luigi Galvani, animal tissue contained a vital life force that electricity could release. corpse of Thomas Forster- stimulate galvanic activity, corpse moved. Experiments were widely discussed, influencing Shelley, providing a frightengly believable prediction of what future may be like.
  • The Life Principle-  1814 rift between scientist who saw life in purely material terms, and those who wanted to retain metaphysical beliefs associated with the soul.
  • Polar Exploration-  Search for a nvaigable sea across the North Pole prompted by the desire to trade with the Orient and inspired Shelley's Artic framework.
  • Enlightenment Era- 17-18th century, new idea, discovery of the natural laws or…

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