Frankenstein

The Theme of Knowledge Portrayed in Frankenstein 12th Grade

Humankind has been unravelling the secrets of the universe for millennia, discovering more about the world in the process; but will we ever reach a point where we know too much? That is indeed the premise of Shelley’s “The Modern Prometheus”; a presentation of the consequences a man faces for knowing more than he can control. In Frankenstein, the idea of knowledge always seems to be linked with the source of the protagonist’s abundant feelings of foreboding and misery. The protagonist changes ascetically during his pursuit of greater knowledge with high hopes for his success, but Shelly forbids the better outcome for Victor. Knowledge is vetted as a negative concept in Frankenstein by haunting the primary protagonist with a sense of isolation from humanity and blame for the events that were the indirect effect of Victor gaining too much knowledge.

In the first volume, the reader is confronted by the scene when Victor witnesses an oak tree get struck by lightning, which is symbolic to the attainment of knowledge in Prometheus; as fire and lightning were used to represent the power of knowledge in Greek mythology, specifically the ability to have free will (hence “The Modern Prometheus). The lighting is seen as something...

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