The Monster’s “hellish rage” : the weather and death
On one stormy, tumultuous night, the daemon kills Williams. The stormy background reflects Victor’s emotional pain; its nobility also reflects William’s innocent and noble spirit.
Shelley describes the tempestuous storm as a “noble war” and a worthy dirge to William. For Victor this is a fitting symbol of William’s nature as an “ angel” and for the moment, his spirits are “elevated” .
Shelley uses antithesis to emphasise the nobility of the storm. It is “ beautiful yet terrific”. The sky alternates between extreme brightness and gloomy darkness. The storm increases in velocity and its violence, which Shelley suggests, foreshadows Victor’s warring and extreme emotions after William’s death.
The beauty suggests that there is an ethereal nature as the storm erupts in different locations in the “ heavens”. On the one hand, as the lightning continues to erupt over the lake, the lake is symbolically appearing as a “ vast sheet of fire”. But there are moments of extreme darkness and the “ pitchy darkness” is disorienting to whose who are trying to recover from the flashes.
Victor’s instant sighting of the “ daemon” confirms to him, the murdering source of William’s death and his elevated spirit, as so often happens with Victor, is dashed.
This sighting confirms his intuitive feelings that it was the daemon that killed William. Shelley describes this flash of realisation as a bolt of lightning piercing Victor’s consciousness at its deepest level and drawing, once again, the strong sense of guilt that continues to pursue Victor. In this regard, it is significant that the daemon emerges from the gloom, as if the thought emerges from deep within the layers of Victor’s subconscious. Shelley explains that the “ figure which stole from behind a clump of trees” emerges from the gloom, and is illuminated by the “ flash of lightning ». It is as if Victor has a horrifying realisation that this “ daemon” who is of “ gigantic stature” is capable of evil.
A key theme throughout is that the monster’s “hideous” aspect reflects the horror within. During a moment of shocking introspection, marked by a series of questions (“What did he there?”, “Could he be the murderer of my brother?”) Victor, becomes convinced that he was indeed the murderer. As Victor also notes, in this case, the monster’s literally deformed aspect becomes a metaphor of the horror that he is capable of inflicting upon the innocent. That his stature was “ more hideous than belongs to humanity” instantly “ informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon”. Victor further states : “ The mere presence of the idea was an irresistible proof of the fact.” (Victor’s spirits are immediately dashed as his “teeth chattered”. Whilst victim then remains “ motionless », paralysed by thought, the monster flees, traversing enormous space. “He soon reached the summit, and disappeared”.
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