Sciency Context

Week 5

What did I do?

Looked at context for Frankenstein

The Prometheus Legend

Parallels can be seen between the legend and the novel Frankenstein: or The Mordern Prometheus, in that Frankenstein takes the nature of life into his own hands, twists it, and bends it under to will in order to create with his own design. Prometheus tricked the gods and angered them, in the novel Frankenstein claims that he has discovered the power of God; creation of life.

The ceaseless torture enacted upon Prometheus as a punishment for his actions – an eagle constantly eating his liver while he lived – may be seen in the self-hatred and the ceaseless inner turmoil which pains Frankenstein after he creates the monster. Like Prometheus, he undermined the greater authority with his creation and he suffered from it.


Mary Shelley was often party to scholarly and scientific conversation amongst the distinguished guests of her home while growing up. She also undertook her own scientific reading. The theories of scientists Luigi Galvani and Erasmus Darwin may have influenced the inception of acclaimed novel. Galvani’s belief in a nervous electrical fluid, inspired by having jolted disected animals’ muscles with electrity, and Darwin’s belief in the slow devlopment of nature are very likely contributing factors for Frankenstein’s character and the creation of the monster.

In the novel, it is not mentioned how Frankenstein reanimated the monster, however, there is a fascination and an attitude of awe toward the natural phenomenon of lightning seen in him as a boy. It is this which causes him to pursue science. (The study of Natural Science was also more recently introduced as a subject at universities during this time.)

Frankenstein is also seen to interupt the natural process of humanity’s development with his impatience, hence his creation of the monster. He then pays dearly for this disruption; this interferance of nature.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s