Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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Mary Shelley’s


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 and science, the novel in the later nineteenth century was…

3046 words

Citation: Allen, Graham. "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

5026 Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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