Presentation on theme: "Mary Shelley, 1797-1851 Mother died shortly after her birth Raised by father, William Godwin – liberal anarchist and atheist Received an education that."— Presentation transcript:
Mary Shelley, 1797-1851 Mother died shortly after her birth Raised by father, William Godwin – liberal anarchist and atheist Received an education that was unusual – forbidden – for girls at the time. At 16, ran off with the poet Percy Shelley, whom she married at 19. 1817: finished Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me? John Milton, Paradise Lost Title page of 1818 edition, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus.
Prometheus molding man from clay Athena assisting (below)
“It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn." Frankenstein to Walton (Shelley) Young Frankenstein seeks Forbidden Knowledge. Art by Bernie Wrightson, Frankenstein.
A sledge... had drifted towards us in the night, on a large fragment of ice. Only one dog remained alive; but there was a human being within it.... His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition. Robert Walton to his sister Mrs. Saville (Shelley) “... it was the wrench whom I had created” (Shelley). (Art from Bernie Wrightson Frankenstein.)
I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak... and so soon as the dazzling light vanished the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump.... I eagerly inquired of my father the nature and origin of thunder and lightning. He replied, "Electricity." Frankenstein to Walton (Shelley) (Art from Bernie Wrightson Frankenstein.)
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.... His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing... [it] formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion, and straight black lips. (Shelley) Untitled, 1779 J.F. Declassan Photographic reproduction of an illustration from Jacques Gamelin 1739-1803 (NLM).
Like Adam and Eve and Deucalion and Pyrrha, the monster is abandoned by his creator, Dr. Frankenstein – “wretched, helpless, and alone.”
Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? (Shelly) (Art from Bernie Wrightson Frankenstein.)
Works Cited National Library of Medicine (NLM). “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus.” Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature. National Institutes of Health, 1997- 1998. 1 Nov. 2005. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. 1818. Ed. James Reiger. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1982. Wrightson, Bernie, illus. Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. 2 nd ed. Underwood-Miller, 1995.