Parallels With the Ancient Myths

Frankenstein might have been written as a horror story, but the ideas and themes prevalent in the novel are ones men have grappled with for ages. From ancient Greek myths to the Bible, the tale Shelley tells is an old one - one rife with the profundities and far-reaching implications of antiquity. The allusions Shelley makes in Frankenstein, alternately known as The Modern Prometheus, to the antecedents of her story augment the impact she makes. In Shelley's novel, the allusions to the myth of Prometheus and the biblical story of creation provide parallel characters for Frankenstein and his creation, from which significant comparisons can be drawn and the rebellion each perpetrates can be emphasized.

Victor Frankenstein shares many characteristics with the mythical character Prometheus. Like Prometheus, he commits a transgression against God by taking something which has been restricted from humans. Whereas Prometheus stole fire from the gods, Frankenstein stole the ability to create life. The fire that Prometheus stole from the gods was also representative of life. With fire came heat, knowledge, and civilization. When Frankenstein gave his creature life, he usurped the power of God and nature. The ability to give life was...

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