Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Glossary Word | Title: Frankenstein (in Context) | Author: Mary Shelley | Ch: Letter 2

Walton uses "romantic" three times in this paragraph, each use somewhat different. He means in the first an intense self-awareness of his difference, amounting to a feeling of his apartness. Unlike most other men he has a sense of a grand mission, which is to reach the Pole, unveil the secrets of magnetism, and benefit humanity.  

The word "romantic" (Search) evolves from the French word for novel (roman) and is associated with the Medieval romances, either in poetry or prose, such as Chaucer's translation from the French, The Romance of the Rose. Others are von Eschenbach's Parzival, von Strassburg's Tristan und Isolde, the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. "Romantic" evokes stories that describe events involving the paranormal or supernatural, creatures such as dragons and giants, deeds of heroic valor, and the principles of chivalric love.  

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