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Contrasting Frankenstein and Prometheus - Essay Example

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The subtitle of the first edition of the epic book ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelly was ‘The Modern Prometheus’; this was not because Prometheus and Frankenstein shared analogous personality traits, but because they shared the same fate for almost parallel reasons…
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Contrasting Frankenstein and Prometheus
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Contrasting Frankenstein and Prometheus

Download file to see previous pages... As a matter of fact, the nature of both these characters differed extensively, yet their destiny was same. Nonetheless, the legend of Prometheus was a major influence for Mary Shelley, in the sense that the author tried to convey Prometheus’s pain through her character Victor Frankenstein. Of course while the spotlight was on the monster throughout the majority of the novel, the Promethean theme was essentially introduced to focus on the ambition and ‘aim’ of Victor Frankenstein and highlight the consequences of going against the natural laws. Undoubtedly the book gained popularity because of Mary Shelly’s bold and enterprising concept, but a part of credit also goes to her unorthodox style of writing; as the book starts with a series of letters from Robert Walton, who is the narrator in the first few chapters after handing on the torch to Victor. For years now, Mary Shelly’s reference to the monster as the modern Prometheus has been under scrutiny by numerous experts; this however is not an account or review of such studies conducted, this essay presents the personal opinion of the author based on own perception of the plot. Furthermore, the similarities as well as differences amongst both these characters will be discussed herein. ...
They both kept on following their instincts and were utterly focused on the goal of creating life which they eventually did. Moreover, once they created life, both of them were unsatisfied with the results. As in the case of Victor, it was the repulsiveness of the monster because of which Victor got frightened and quit his life’s work and went into exile; and in case of Prometheus, it was the lack of power and knowledge in humans, and he felt that by giving them some power over one of the nature’s most powerful elements might make them slightly more superior and that they then might share some luxuries and powers that gods have the benefit of. Then there were repercussions to be faced by the characters for their ‘sins’ (taking credit for bestowing humans with life) and monstrosities that had brought wrath upon the gods. Prometheus received the most horrible punishment of being banished and tied to the great rock for eternity […] left there all alone, except for his slayer, an eagle with a bloodlust for Prometheus’ liver, who ruthlessly and frostily devours his meal every morning. And then, because of his remaining godly powers, Prometheus would come back to life again along with a new liver, only to be tortured again in the following morning by the vile bird. Even in the case of Victor Frankenstein the punishment was very similar to Prometheus’ ‘prolonged suffering’, the only difference being that while Prometheus’ pain was mostly physical, Victor’s pain was emotional. Victor had to suffer for his consequences by watching every one he loved becoming the monster’s prey one by one and of course knowing that it was he himself that gave birth to such monstrosity. To assume that Victor somehow felt responsible for the death of his loved ones ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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