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Metaphorically, Prometheus represents one who has defying and challenged the natural order; one who has transgressed on forbidden territory. His actions are not couched in connotations of courage or heroism but recognized as reckless and without any thought to the possible consequences. This means that regardless of the young man’s determined and arduous efforts, his “breathless eagerness and “almost frantic impulse” to achieve his goal, his lack of insight about the consequences of his actions is condemnatory.


Shelly’s Frankenstein has entered the literary cannon as the archetypal mad scientist, obsessed with his laboratory and experiments. His obsessive personality has become synonymous with excesses of the modern scientific age; “I pursued nature to her hiding places.”


His behavior becomes representative of humanities inability to cope positively with anything that happens to be different, frightening or ugly. His creature is deemed monstrous, with Victor feeling in terror at the horrendous sight of what he has brought to life; “the horror of countenance…. A thing.” Having created this other being, Victor then focuses on his own despair. “I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation- deep, dark, deathlike solitude.”

Rejected and made outcast, the monster wanders the world in abject loneliness, brooding and thirsting for payback for the suffering he has been forced to endure at the hand of others. The novel can be read as a warning against excesses for it clearly demonstrates how noble intentions have had ignoble results.