Is Victor Frankenstein the modern Prometheus?
Mary Shelley’s purpose in the subtitle of her book, Frankenstein; or, the modern Prometheus is to compare Victor Frankenstein and Prometheus, son of Zeus. By showing many similarities between the two, she has solid reasoning that Dr. Frankenstein is, in many ways, the “modern Prometheus.” Although both main characters create a problem they have no control over, they learn their lesson of tampering with the law of nature. It takes time, punishment, and tests for the both of them to understand their wrongdoings. Shelley’s book shows many similarities between Victor and Prometheus. In the beginning we are led to believe that Victor is a scientist who, through experiment and analysis, has the ability to re-create life. By using metamorphosis he uses old cadaver body parts to create an oversized and grotesque creature (Shelley, par. 91). Like Prometheus, Frankenstein created something he had no power or control over. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans, not only once but twice. In doing so, they both went against all laws of nature. While Victor Frankenstein created a nonhuman creature and Prometheus stole fire from the gods they were both punished very severely. After Dr. Frankenstein brought his creature to life, out of disgust, he ran away. “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?” (Shelley, par. 121). Frankenstein could not stand the sight of his creation. Looking at it made him queasy and ill. The monster’s oversized body and unsightly proportions brought Victor much agony. The creature, feeling abandoned, turned to rage and attacked Victor’s loved ones. His first victim was William Frankenstein, Victor’s beloved brother. Giving Victor little time to repair from his tragic loss, the creature attacked again. This time he lost his best friend, Henry Clerval. During these catastrophic...
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