98 Best Mary Shelley Quotes
Somers Town, London
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was a British novelist, essayist, short story writer, dramatist, travel writer and biographer known for her Gothic novel ‘Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus’. Despite the critics being skeptical about the storyline of the novel, it gained positive reviews after the mid 20
th century with various theatrical adaptations. Major critics have appreciated the aesthetic and moral value of her work which has also been a subject of study for female criticism and psychoanalytic behavior. Mary also edited the works of her poet and philosopher husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her theme of writing generated dark introspection of human mind and its ways. We have curated some of Shelley’s quotes from her novels, books, essays, short stories etc. Let’s take a look at Mary Shelley’s best quotes.
Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear! How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow. The beginning is always today. I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel... Solitude was my only consolation - deep, dark, deathlike solitude. There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand. The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested. The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own. When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness? There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied int he one, I will indulge the other. Once I falsely hoped to meet the beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. Learn from my miseries, and do not seek to increase your own. The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality. How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery! With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries. Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom! If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by every wind that blows and a chance word or scene that that word may convey to us. Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man! Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity and ruin. My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free. The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous. The world was to me a secret which I desired to devine. I am alone and miserable. Only someone as ugly as I am could love me. If I see but one smile on your lips when we meet, occasioned by this or any other exertion of mine, I shall need no other happiness. It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another. The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other. You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey! My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. The sun might shine, or the clouds might lour: but nothing could appear to me as it had done the day before. The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind. My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine. Live, and be happy, and make others so. A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study. Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to a mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on a rock."
- Frankenstein p115 The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? I am malicious because I am miserable I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures as no language can describe A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I see by your eagerness, and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be in formed of the secret with which I am acquainted. That cannot be. My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell. Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose- a point on which the soul can focus its intellectual eye What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man? I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man. I am not a person of opinions because I feel the counter arguments too strongly. Be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not. I also became a poet, and for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation; I imagined that I also might obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated. Her countenance was all expression; her eyes were not dark but impenetrably deep; you seemed to discover space after space in their intellectual glance. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. Unhappy man! Do you share my maddness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips! We are fashioned creatures, but half made up. Oh! Stars and clouds and winds, ye are all about to mock me; if ye really pity me, crush sensation and memory; let me become as nought; but if not, depart, depart, and leave me in darkness. Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. I beheld the wretch-the miserable monster whom I had created. Polluted by crimes, and torn by the bitterest remorse, where can I find rest but in death? One wondering thought pollutes the day We never do what we wish when we wish it, and when we desire a thing earnestly, and it does arrive, that or we are changed, so that we slide from the summit of our wishes and find ourselves where we were. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends. In other studies you go as far as other have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder. I wished sometimes to shake off all thought and feeling, but I learned that there was but one means to overcome the sensation of pain, and that was death - a state which I feared yet did not understand. But soon, I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. Devil, do you dare approach me? and do you not fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal Nature bade me weep no more. Evil thenceforth became my good. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. I looked upon the sea, it was to be my grave I spread the whole earth out as a map before me. On no one spot of its surface could I put my finger and say, here is safety. He is dead who called me into being, and when I shall be no more the very remembrance of us both will speedily vanish. My own mind began to grow, watchful with anxoius thoughts. I saw no cause for their unhappiness, but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched. In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out with a cry of pain. How strange, I thought that the same cause should produce such opposite effects. But her's was the misery of innocence, which, like a cloud that passes over the fair moon, for a while hides, but cannot tarnish its brightness. The name of Italy has magic in its very syllables. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master;--obey! You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, Praise the eternal justice of man! Perfect happiness is an attribute of angels; and those who have it, appear angelic How many things are we upon the brink of discovering if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries What is there in our nature that is for ever urging us on towards pain and misery? All men hate the wretched. We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves - such a friend ought to be - do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.
He seems to feel his own worth, and the greatness of his fall.
I trembled, and my heart failed within me; when, on looking up, I saw, by the light of the moon, the daemon at the casement.
I was new to sorrow, but it did not the less alarm me.
I'm a creature of fine sensations
Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?
A miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself. I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection.