Frankenstein

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Frankenstein

Post by weasel666 on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 01:51



Frankenstein's monster (also called Adam, Monster, Frankenstein's creature or just Frankenstein) is a fictional character that first appeared in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In popular culture, the creature is often referred to as "Frankenstein" after his creator Victor Frankenstein, but in the novel the creature has no name. He does call himself, when speaking to Victor, the "Adam of your labours". He is also variously referred to as a "creature", "fiend", "spectre", "the demon", "wretch", "devil", "thing", "being" and "ogre" in the novel.

As in Mary Shelley's story, the monster's namelessness became a central part of the stage adaptations in London and Paris during the decades after the novel's first appearance. Shelley herself attended a performance of Presumption, the first successful stage adaptation of her novel. "The play bill amused me extremely, for in the list of dramatis personae came _________, by Mr T. Cooke,” she wrote to her friend Leigh Hunt. "This nameless mode of naming the unnameable is rather good."

Within a decade of publication, the name of the creator—Frankenstein—was used to refer to the monster, but it became firmly established after the Universal film series starring Boris Karloff popularized the story in the 1930s. The film was largely based on an adaptation for the stage in 1927 by Peggy Webling. Webling's Frankenstein actually does give his creature his name. The Universal film treated the Monster's identity in a similar way as Shelley's novel: the name of the actor, not the character, is hidden by a question mark. Nevertheless, the creature soon enough became best known in the popular imagination as "Frankenstein". This usage is sometimes considered erroneous, but usage commentators regard the monster sense of "Frankenstein" as well-established and not an error.

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