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...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 923 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7305 literature essays, 2080 sample college application essays, 302 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in