As you most definitely know by now if you’ve been following my posts, Frankenstein has had a lot of appearances throughout our modern world. Even though we never realized it, he has been in our society for a very long time because of the book!
However, the other thing you most likely did not realize is that Frankenstein may not be as original as it seems. Perhaps the idea of a monster coming alive by being built from different body parts that a human sewed together is unique, but the idea of someone stealing a part of nature to give to mankind has definitely be seen before. In fact, this idea actually stems from a very old story dating back to Greek mythology.
The story of Prometheus, a Greek mythological titan, explains that this monster stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. So essentially, Prometheus took fire, an element of nature, and gave it to humans. This should sound fairly familiar, because that’s what Victor Frankenstein did with his monster! In Victor’s case however, he decided to steal the secret of creating from nature, and offer that to humans instead. Ultimately it led to the creation of a monster, which does highly differ from simply allowing humans to have fire, but either way the concept is the same; a person steals one of nature’s secret and forwards it onto mankind.
Not convinced yet? Well, it also turns out that Prometheus was rumored to have created mankind through other myths. Further yet, after Mary Shelley’s publishing of Frankenstein, her husband soon after published a book called Prometheus Unbound. Therefore, this proves that the myth of Prometheus was certainly not unknown to Shelley as she wrote her book.
So as you can see, even though the entire book may seem original and is also deemed a classic, it does still stem from an even older classic story. Yes, it may also be very arguable whether or not this is completely true, however there definitely is enough evidence to prove that there is a definite relation between both stories! Based on the facts mentioned above, what do you personally think? Did Mary Shelley actually use the original mythology to create her story? One way or another, I think that’s pretty neat!