fangs of remorse
With this phrase Mary Shelley insinuates a theme into her novel that will develop exponentially over its course. We recall that Victor expressed "the greatest remorse" for having kept Henry Clerval from his studies during his long illness (I:4:20): that diction, for all its hyperbole, was utterly conventional. Now, Victor is bitten by remorse as by a poisonous viper, and it will poison his system for the rest of his existence. For the later course of this poison where it results in agony, for instance, see the last sentence of III:5:8. This same poison infects the Creature as well, he bitterly admits to Walton (III:WC:37). The contemporary definition of remorse accentuated so painful a condition.