"I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created." Why did Victor Frankenstein create his monster? What role did beauty, love, science, and education play in his endeavor?


Frankenstein did not study liberal arts. Infatuated with science. He sets out to make something.

Alchemy: How a thing works is not always what it is. Properties may be hidden.

The quest for knowledge is secondary to the quest for Eve.

Could it be that the reason the monster wanted to go to the North Pole is because he had no other partner and could dedicate himself holy to that solitary endeavor?

We might be inclined to connect somebody being erotic and attached to the opposite sex or at least a beloved of some sex with them being interested or longing for knowledge. Both in Frankenstein and the monster’s case that connection is odd.

One of the things about Frankenstein is how unerotic his attachment is to Elizabeth is (cousin, raised as sister). There is something odd about Frankenstein‘s own sexuality. Even his father says is it because "is it that your cousin is like your sister that you are not attracted to her"? Frankenstein thought this species (his monster) would breed with humans.

There is a desire for one not to have origin or to be ones origin (God). This is related to Oedipus? Frankenstein’s mother dies and Elizabeth becomes every possible relationship to Frankenstein.

Shelley Journals: Emile and the Confessions

Follow-up Lecture: We Shall Be Monsters: Frankenstein and the Ugliness of Enlightenment (i.e., Science).

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Notes Sources:

Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Combat and Classics, Ep. 15: Shelley’s Frankenstein
Apple Podcasts
Original Link: "We Shall Be Monsters": Frankenstein and The Ugliness of Enlightenment
Hosted Link: "We Shall Be Monsters": Frankenstein and The Ugliness of Enlightenment