Robinson Crusoe, Pamela, and Julie, published in 1719, 1740, and 1761 respectively, were highly popular, pioneering novels.
Prometheus wasn’t a heroic character in ancient Greek literature. He became one in competition for attention in early-nineteenth-century England.
In an essay on tragedy and fiction probably from c. 1792, William Godwin declared the “real essence of every story of human affairs is character.”
Describing the injustice of Justine’s trail in Frankenstein, Shelley recast a passage from William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England
Shelley interpreted Prometheus more broadly and more creatively than did reviewers of Frankenstein in 1818.
The setting of Shelley’s Julian and Maddalo and the actions of the maniac allude to Tasso’s imprisonment in a madhouse.
The horribly mixed style of Frankenstein is Shelley’s deliberate poetic choice for representing class divisions and failures of sympathy in society.