How Is Foreshadowing Used In Frankenstein?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Mary Shelley uses the literary device of foreshadowing throughout the novel in order to let the reader know about events yet to occur during the duration of Frankenstein. Through her usage of foreshadowing, Shelley mainly displays the theme of the danger of knowledge and how it leads to destruction.
Detailed answer:

The main form of foreshadowing in the novel occurs when Victor Frankenstein is anxiously awaiting his creature to return on his wedding night to confront him as stated by the monster, “I shall be with you on your wedding night.” As a result of Victor not creating a female partner for the creature, he vows to get revenge on his creator. This statement foreshadows the danger awaiting Elizabeth: Victor has effectively murdered the creation that was going to be the monster’s bride, so now the monster will murder his. Elizabeth’s death on her wedding night is massively foreshadowed.
Instantly after the monster comes to life, Victor has a nightmare associating a vision of Elizabeth lying dead, “I thought I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms.” This vision foreshadows that Elizabeth will die in the plot, and that her death is in some way connected to the monster.
The death of the character Justine is also one of the most obvious element of foreshadowing in the novel. Previous to William’s murder, Elizabeth introduces the character of Justine within a letter written to Victor, this foreshadows that she will most likely play a significant role in the plot. In spite of Elizabeth’s adherence that Justine will not be executed, prior events in the novel have foreshadowed that Justine’s innocence will not save her. William was a completely innocent child, and was still brutally killed. The creature was innocent at the moment of his creation, and he was still abandoned. These previous events throughout the novel signals that Justine’s innocence and kindness make her more likely to meet a cruel death. Furthermore, since Justine’s life lies upon Victor’s willingness to be honest, and he only had shown himself to be deceptive, his past behaviour foreshadows his refusal to speak out on her behalf and to save her life.
Foreshadowing directly connects to the gothic novel genre because it is often linked back to horror and romanticism. Throughout the novel the reader can constantly assume something wrong is going to happen, in the text it says: “All men hate the wretched…until it be satisfied with the blood of your remaining friends.” The readers can speculate that the monster’s vengeance towards men is a direct threat, therefore connecting the idea foreshadowing.
In conclusion foreshadowing is a key element in conveying the authors feelings and opinions about the characters within the novel.

Do you have any other questions?
Question has been sent. We'll take a look at it in 1 day Ask another question

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now