In this study guide we will help you analyse the novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley in 1818. Besides finding help with the analysis, you will also be able to read summaries of the book in its entirety and the individual chapters. We also provide some suggestions regarding themes, message and perspectives.
The quotes in this study guide is from the 2003 Penguin Classics version of the novel.
Here you can find an extract from our study guide:
The full title of Mary Shelley’s novel is Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Many people mistakenly believe that the name Frankenstein refers to the monster. However, it is actually the name of the scientist who makes the creature, Victor Frankenstein. The fact that the name is often applied to the creature hints at the similarities between the two characters. It also underlines how we can’t really tell which is the protagonist and which the antagonist.
The second part of the title, The Modern Prometheus, refers to an Ancient Greek myth. Prometheus creates human beings from clay, and then steals fire from the gods to make humans more godlike. He is punished by the gods and condemned to eternal torture. The parallels with the story in Frankenstein are clear – both Frankenstein and Prometheus misguidedly believe that they can play God. When their plans go wrong, both are punished.