Frankenstein - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Frankenstein

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley provides the most potent, characteristic, and uniquely modern myth of science gone fatally awry. The common association of the name Frankenstein, thanks to many popular movies, is with the ugly, lumbering, murderous monster whom the book never names. In his many film versions, this lurching omen reflects the eras of his creation, from the dazed, scorned and feared working-class creature played by Boris Karloff in James Whale's depression-era Frankenstein (1931) to the slyly silent and sexually potent creature played by Peter Boyle in the me decade's Young Frankenstein (1974). But while movies have spread the image of Doctor Frankenstein and associated his name with the manlike monster he created, the novel carefully never names his creation which is, in fact, a doppelganger, a dramatic double of the obsessive undergraduate who made him.

Boris Karloff as Frankensteins monster in the 1931 film verison of Frankenstein. Karloffs portrayal of the creature is perhaps the most well-known. ( Bettmann/Corbis.) Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's...

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This section contains 1,206 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Frankenstein Encyclopedia Article
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Frankenstein from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.