Frankenstein Through The Ages

With Mary Shelley’s birthday around the corner on August 30, it becomes difficult to talk about the author without mentioning and delving deep into her greatest masterpiece- Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus.

The story of Frankenstein (who is the scientist, NOT the monster)revolves around a young science student Victor Frankenstein whose unorthodox scientific experiment led to the creation of a grotesque creature which he started to loathe. The Greek god Prometheus was punished for giving the knowledge of fire to humankind as a gift, however; Victor who attempts to be the Modern Prometheus is also punished, but his “gift” remains a secret to the world.

There are various themes that have been explored in the novel which got its shape as a result of a horror story writing competition among Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori. Monstrosity remains as the most obvious themes in the story and has created a certain image with each adaptation of the book in pop culture. The story of Frankenstein and his ‘monster’ is full of elements from Gothic fiction and the Romantic movement which has influenced our culture in the form of films, television programs, video games etc. This influence makes the character of the monster one of the most recognized in horror fiction.

Here is a timeline of some major mentions/ adaptations of Mary Shelley’s creation throughout the ages and the way it has continued to influence horror fiction even today.