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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

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Mary shelley

Mary Shelley

Frankenstein or the modern prometheus

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus


Mary Shelley



  • 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 literature characteristics


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 characteristics1


  • 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

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

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

M eaning of the work theme

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







  • 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

A word (or two) about


Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich 1818

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich1818

Eug ne delacroix la libert guidant le peuple

Eugène Delacroix La Liberté Guidant le Peuple

In nature s wonderland thomas doughty 1835

In Nature’s Wonderland Thomas Doughty (1835)

If you like gothic literature check out

If you like Gothic Literature, check out…

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