STUDY AIDS : CHARACTERS
Elizabeth Lavenza Frankenstein
Cousin, adopted sister, and eventually wife of Victor Frankenstein (in the first edition of 1818; in the third edition of 1831, she is a foundling).
Although Elizabeth does not share Frankenstein's alchemical interests, she is educated with him; and when Caroline Frankenstein dies of scarlet fever contracted from Elizabeth, it is Elizabeth who takes over the maternal duties of the Frankenstein family. During Frankenstein's residence in Ingolstadt, Elizabeth writes regularly, and it falls to her to describe Justine's background. Both Frankenstein and Elizabeth are active in Justine's unsuccessful defense.
On Victor's return to Geneva, Alphonse Frankenstein returns to his late wife's plan, that Victor and Elizabeth should marry. Victor agrees, but postpones the wedding until after he has completed his task. When he destroys the half-finished female creature (III:3:4), the Creature vows, "I will be with you on your wedding-night!"(III:3:15)—a threat Frankenstein imagines is directed against himself ("I carried pistols and a dagger constantly about me," (III:5:30).
The two are married after the death of Clerval and Frankenstein's imprisonment and long illness. On their wedding night, however, Frankenstein leaves the room, and hears a scream above. He returns to find Elizabeth "lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down, and her pale and distorted features half covered by her hair" (III:6:8).