Did Dr. Frankenstein created life

Summary of Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus

Critical thinker in England

After the French Revolution in 1789, the English upper class feared that the ideals of freedom would spill over from mainland Europe to the United Kingdom and cause an uproar among the population there too. Accordingly, France's military successes on the continent were viewed critically and resolutely opposed. During the Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars from 1792 to 1815, England had an advantage and was practically impregnable due to its island location. In order to maintain maritime sovereignty, Great Britain allied itself with various European countries such as Austria, Prussia and Italy, in which monarchist rulers were still in power.

From liberally minded English intellectuals like Lord Byron or Mary Shelley's husband Percy Shelley the English government was sharply criticized for this approach. Both men advocated social reforms in their own country and saw the foreign policy rapprochement with the mainland monarchies as a dangerous step backwards. Although royal absolutism had been abolished in England and Parliament had long since taken power, the average citizen did not feel much of the democratic gains. Factory owners and politicians were hardly restricted in their powers; the working class that emerged after the industrial revolution found itself increasingly pressed into need and poverty.


The year 1816 went down in history as the “year without a summer”. After the Tambora volcano erupted in Indonesia in 1815, vast amounts of dust and ash were released into the atmosphere and covered the globe like a veil. As a result, the global climate changed briefly, with snow falling in the middle of summer in America and Central Europe.

Mary Shelley was staying at Lake Geneva with her future husband Percy and was surprised by a torrential storm on June 16, 1816 on an excursion. The two decided to spend the night with their friend Lord Byron in Villa Diodati, where he met his personal doctor John Polidori and Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont had quartered. There were five of us sitting together, reading out German horror stories and discussing the experiments of the Erasmus Darwinwho believed that electricity could bring dead objects to life. The laudanum, an opium tincture that was widespread at the time, was probably also awarded.

In such a mood, Lord Byron proposed a poetry contest: each of the five should write a horror story. While Byron and Percy Shelley accomplished little, John Polidori succeeded The vampire one of the first vampire stories in world literature, in whose tradition later too Bram StokersDracula was standing. Mary Shelley was unproductive at first, but then had a nightmare one night in which she saw a pale scientist "kneel next to the thing he had put together". The vision became a first scene which, according to tradition, so frightened Lord Byron that he ran pale from the room. Encouraged by this, Mary Shelley worked the scene into a novel the following year.

Impact history

The dramatic potential of the Frankenstein-History, which still allows the audience to stream into the cinemas for the latest adaptation of the material, was immediately recognized by Mary Shelley's contemporaries. However, the monster did not stay on the stage as Shelley / Frankenstein had created it, but went through some changes: Even at the premiere of the first stage adaptation in 1823 in the English Opera House, the guests no longer got to see the intelligent and sad nature of the original version , but a silent monster reduced to its horror effect. Mary Shelley herself - meanwhile marked by strokes of fate and a single mother with financial problems - published a second, commercially revised version of her book in 1831. // // The success of the stage version quickly led to further theatrical versions as well as sequels and parodies of the story. The countless film adaptations of the material later mostly used these effective adaptations as a template, not the original novel version. Resorted to a simple trick James Whale, that with Boris Karloff in the role of the monster in 1931 the most famous to this day Frankenstein-Film succeeded. The monster's brain was mistakenly implanted in his composure, which quickly explains his greed for murder. The last major Hollywood adaptation (Director: Kenneth Branagh) dates from 1994 and shows none other than Robert de Niro in the role of the monster.