Similarities Between Prometheus And Frankenstein

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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, …show more content…
They both take an inanimate object, one that should not be able to be shifted from a lifeless form to one possessing life, and somehow create human life from it. The beginning of the novel also alludes to a maker and his creations of clay with an excerpt from Paradise Lost, “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay / To mould me man? Did I solicit thee / From darkness to promote me” (Shelley 19) which is not only a preemption to the novel, but it also acts as an allusion to the myth of Prometheus. This, the idea of creating a new human, is a common element of the Romantic Period, though, a vision of a newly structured society and a new vision of mankind who lacks normal conventions (Peris Peris 1); it fully fits not only the time of when Shelley was writing the book, but also fits in with Greek thought (Prometheus’ time) and how they wanted to morph …show more content…
As previously mentioned, Prometheus is credited with bestowing the first flame amongst the human race, while Frankenstein is one of the primary leaders in science regarding using lightning and galvanism in experiments (Galvani 226); however, the usage between them indicate that one wants power while one wants to simply make life better. Shelley borrows the idea of their consequences coming from seeking enlightenment and power – an idea present during Shelley’s own lifetime (Dudczak 1). From this power stems the torture Frankenstein encounters after his creation comes to life –ill with disgust and stuck with his creature – which mirrors Prometheus’ consequence of being undying and eternal. However, the Creature also becomes fascinated with the idea of light and fire, such as when he states:
’One day, when I was oppressed by the cold, I found a fire which had been left by some wandering beggars, and was overcome with delight at the warmth I experienced from it. In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain. How strange, I thought, that the same cause should produce such opposite effects.’ (Shelley

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