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Mary Shelley. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. by Mary Shelley. Prometheus. Greek mythology a Titan who championed mankind stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals

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Mary Shelley


Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

by

Mary Shelley


Prometheus

  • Greek mythology

  • a Titan who championed mankind

  • stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals

  • Zeus punished him by having him bound to a rock while an eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day


GENRE: Gothic LiteratureCHARACTERISTICS:


Gothic Lit: CHARACTERISTICS:

  • popular 1760’s – 1820’s

  • wild, remote, dreary settings; lots of castles, moors and rain

  • contains a hero/villain

  • strives to incite terror

  • contains evidence of the supernatural

  • mixes romance and horror

  • evokes a sense of mystery and dread


Gothic Lit: CHARACTERISTICS:

  • a distressed heroine

  • moral conflicts abound

  • questions where does man’s power begins and ends

  • explores the macabre (muh-cahb) nature of mankind

  • macabre: suggesting the horror of death and decay; gruesome. Macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle Ages.


Mary Shelley’s STYLE:

  • rich vocabulary (a plethora of SAT words to enjoy!)

  • elaborate sentence structure

  • allusions aplenty

  • jumbled chronology

  • shifting narrators


“The

FRAME

Story”


“The

SYMPATHETIC

LISTENER”


a “CAUTIONARY TALE”

there’s a warning of a taboo…

someone disregards it…

an unpleasant fate awaits…


Major Themes:

  • the importance of intellectual curiosity and achievement AND the responsibilities that accompany them; knowledge can be dangerous

  • the importance of familial relationships AND the pain that comes when ties are severed

  • loneliness; alienation from society

  • the natural world as a catalyst for and reflection of human emotion

  • nature vs. nurture


meaning of the work (theme)

  • Nature (the physical world)

  • Alienation

  • Birth / Death

  • Judgment

  • Self-worth

  • Egocentricism

  • Ambition

  • Lollipops

  • Judgment

  • Acceptance

  • Rationality

  • Shame

  • Secrets

  • Enlightenment

  • The Unknown

  • Irresponsibility

  • Science

  • Revenge

  • Abandonment

  • Isolation

  • Change

  • Passion

  • Creation

  • Destruction

  • Consequence

  • Fear

  • Trust

  • Persecution

  • Duality

  • Fitting in

  • Family

  • God

  • Nature vs. Nurture

  • Knowledge

  • Curiosity

  • Relationships

  • Cowardice

  • Neglect

  • Mental health

  • Redemption

  • Compassion

  • Responsibility

  • Obligation

  • Prejudice

  • Power

  • Self-preservation


MORAL AMBIGUITY

AMBIGUOUS:

VAGUE, UNCERTAIN,

UNCLEAR, INDEFINITE


Romanticism

  • an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement

  • originated in the late 18th century in western Europe

  • a movement against norms of the Age of Enlightenment

  • a philosophical revolt against rationalism

  • the exaltation of the senses and emotions over reason and intellect

  • the rediscovery of the artist as a supremely individual creator

  • emphasis on individual expression and imagination


A word (or two) about

SPARKNOTES :-o


Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich1818


Eugène Delacroix La Liberté Guidant le Peuple


In Nature’s Wonderland Thomas Doughty (1835)


If you like Gothic Literature, check out…


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