Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus?
In order to illustrate the main theme of her novel "Frankenstein", Mary Shelly draws strongly on the myth of Prometheus, as the subtitle The Modern Prometheus indicates. Maurice Hindle, in his critical study of the novel, suggests, "the primary theme of Frankenstein is what happens to human sympathies and relationships when men seek obsessively to satisfy their Promethean longings to "conquer the unknown" - supposedly in the service of their fellow-humans". This assertion is discussed by first describing the Promethean connection. Thereafter, the two forms of the myth, Prometheus the fire-stealer and Prometheus the life-giver are reviewed in the context of Shelly's use of the myth in her novel …show more content…
Mary Shelly's reservations about the unrestricted pursuit of knowledge and the dangers inherent in that pursuit are a timely warning across the decades as scientists today explore genetic engineering, cloning and other branches of bio-science. Perhaps, these are yet more examples of the modern Prometheus.
In conclusion, the obvious connection between the myth and the novel is to that of Prometheus the life-giver. Frankenstein created the Monster in the shape of a man, thereby becoming a life-giver. However, it could be argued that