Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein : The Modern Day Science Fiction Genre

1584 Words Dec 9th, 2016 7 Pages
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein represents the epitome that is now the modern-day science fiction genre; however, people rarely mention the title in full: Frankenstein, or the Modern Day Prometheus. The concept behind having a subtitle raises the question of why exactly Shelley decided to subtitle her novel after a Greek hero, but within the novel, the question is never answered nor mentioned. Although both Prometheus and Frankenstein come from different points in time, correlations can be made between the novel and the myth; specifically, it can be made in reference to exactly who the “modern Prometheus” is. Shelley’s subtitle does not refer to either Victor Frankenstein or the creature; however, by identifying the myth with elements of the novel, one can begin to interpret which character Shelley refers to.
The origin of Prometheus hails from an Ancient Greek myth regarding the Titan who once lived long ago. Prometheus’ story revolves around him being a trickster, but also for being the Titan to introduce humans to fire and metal work; he stole the fire from Mount Olympus by hiding it in a fennel stalk, and then gave it to the humans to compensate for their naked, weak state they possessed (Cartwright 1). Although he made the quality of life for humans much greater, the gods punished him by making him serve an eternal punishment during his immortal life in Hades’ realm; he was forced to have his liver pecked out every day by an eagle while he was chained to a rock, and his…

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