Why Is Frankenstein Subtitled or, the Modern Prometheus?

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Prometheus Pages: 2 (486 words) Published: January 31, 2011
One of the greatest pieces of literature written during the Romantic Period is the world renowned novel, Frankenstein. This gothic literature is written by a young girl by name of Mary Shelley. People everywhere heard the story about the grotesque creature created by one of the world's maddest scientists that ever existed in the fictional world. Some even know how the author fabricated this story, but what they do not know is why did Mary Shelley subtitle her book Or, the Modern Prometheus? Could her story have anything to do with ancient Greek myth about the god named Prometheus? An analysis on the two characters, Prometheus and Dr. Frankenstein may explain why Mary Shelley subtitled her book Or, the Modern Prometheus.

There are many similarities between the two main characters of these pieces of literature. Both Dr. Frankenstein and Prometheus are known to be ambitious and they show this by pursuing their goal of creating life. Dr. Frankenstein said, "I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet" (Shelley 56). Similarly, the Greek myth says, "Prometheus first transmuted Atoms culled for human clay" (Legend of Prometheus). When both these creatures were created the creators realize that their creations were missing something. Frankenstein said, "How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch who with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?… His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing…" (Shelley 56), when he realizes that his creature is ugly. Frankenstein is so astonished to find his creation hideous that he runs away with feelings of horror. Prometheus too, feels dismay when he, "observed man and longed to bestow upon him some great power, unshared by any other creature of earth, which would raise him far above all other living beings, and...
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