At the trial of Justine Moritz, she proclaims her innocence, but
nevertheless she is convicted and sentenced to be hanged the following day. Victor watched in silence as the nightmare unfolded, unable to stop the injustice.
Elizabeth and Victor visit Justine where she reveals that she made a false
confession under prolonged questioning. Justine says that she does not fear death, but Victor is distraught that there will now be two innocent victims arising out of his evil work.
This chapter is Shelley’s commentary on the justice system, and it is no
co-incidence that the victim of this farce is called Justine, a play on words of ‘justice’.
Justine is portrayed as being calm and assured of her own innocence.
She expresses true grief over the death of William. She tells her story that she had been visiting a nearby village and when she heard that William was missing she made a search for him. Unable to enter the gates of Geneva, she spent the night in a barn where she was found with the locket in her possession. The reason why Justine gave a false confession was to avoid being excommunicated by the church. This information only serves to make Victor feel worse and he is in a living hell.