Mary Shelley: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

(3046 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is today one of the most widely-read and influential of novels. Interpreted in numerous ways by each succeeding generation, the story of Victor Frankenstein’s creation of a “monster” and the subsequent power-struggle between creature and creator, has become one of modern society’s abiding myths. The numerous theatrical versions of the novel, which began in 1823 with Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption, or The Fate of Frankenstein, are a powerful testament to the story’s popular and mythic qualities, albeit it was not until the 1950s that it began to receive consistent critical attention. Now seen as a myth concerning a fear of the potentially destructive power of modern technology …

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Allen, Graham. "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism
  2. Gothic, Grotesque & Supernatural Fiction