The name “Frankenstein” is probably one of the most recognizable names in literature. The name came from the creature in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus” (1818) It is a name that has captured the imagination and the fear of readers of many generations worldwide. And so, it is just understandable that many writers had adapted the story and the character of Frankenstein.
The original piece “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus” (1818) was remarkably written by Mary Shelley when she was only eighteen years old. Many other works were remakes of Shelley’s masterpiece, a testament to the success of the original text.
Here are some of the remakes of “Frankenstein” in no particular order: “Frankenstein” a film directed and written by J. Searle Dawley (1920), “Frankenstein” a film that was directed by James Whale (1931), “Frankenstein 1970” a film by director Howard Koch (1958), “Frankenstein: The True Story” a television film written by Christopher Isherwood and directed by Jack Smight, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” a movie adaptation by director Kenneth Branagh (1994), “Frankenstein” a mini-series for US TV by the Hallmark television network (2004), “Frankenstein” television adaptation by ITV (2007), “Frankenstein Jr. nd the Impossibles” an animated series adaptation in US television, “Frankenstein or The Vampire’s Victim” a play adaptation staged at the Gaiety Theater in London (1887)
The character of Frankenstein also appear in many other works, a contemporary example would be in the movie “Van Helsing. ” Even though there are many adapted versions of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, all of those versions would still be inline with the original text. All of the main components of the novel are still intact like the characters, themes, setting, plot, and of course a remake would be incomplete without the inclusion of Frankenstein.
There are many themes that could be unearthed from this particular text. Here are some of the most visible ones: man playing god, acceptance, secrecy, loneliness, humanity, knowledge, aesthetics, ethics, responsibility, and many others. In relation to the theme of responsibility, Victor Frankenstein had uttered “William, Justine, and Henry they all died by my hands” (Shelley 156) In that particular scene, Victor claims responsibility for the tragic death of the children even though they did not literally died by his hands. In the original text, the story is set during the eighteenth century.
The location of the narrative would be constantly changing. The locations would be in Geneva, the Alps, Ingolstadt, Scotland, and England. But in the later adaptations, more contemporary locations were chosen by the writers. For instance in the animated series “Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles”, the story is set in the future and Frankenstein would be depicted as a young robot. In the original novel, it is mainly Victor Frankenstein and the creature (commonly regarded as Frankenstein) that would be interacting and conflicting with each other.
But in most of the remakes of Frankenstein, some of the original characters were deleted. Even Victor Frankenstein was deleted in some of the remakes. And of course, the eight-foot monster with superhuman strength and intelligence (and a remarkable humanity within could also be considered) monster, more commonly known as Frankenstein would be a staple character in the remakes. Making Frankenstein one of the most feared, but at the same time loved fictional characters in literature.