Frankenstein’s monster is one of the most famous horror genre creatures, alongside vampires, zombies and werewolves. He is a monster assembled from various parts of other dead people, and is created by a mad scientist named Dr. Frankenstein.
Quick Facts about Frankenstein
- Frankenstein was not originally the name of the monster, but the last name of the doctor who created it
- He is brought to life using alchemy or lightning strikes
- The author who wrote the original story was named Mary Shelley, who published the story in 1818
- A famous hunchback assistant to Dr. Frankenstein was not in the original story either, but evolved through several decades of film in the mid-1900’s to eventually become Igor
- Lurch, a tall ghastly looking member of the Addams Family, was very similar to Frankenstein’s monster – only his heart was positively known to be his
- The most famous actor to have played the monster in movies was Boris Karloff, who starred in the original 1931 film
The monster is described as an 8 foot tall abomination, composed of body parts from several different cadavers. He is typically thought of as yellow or green with bolts coming out of his neck. The original description in the book describes him as yellow, but other versions of the monster vary from green to brown to tan.
The most famous rendition of the monster comes from a 1930’s film titled “Frankenstein”. In this movie he is played by Boris Karloff, and the costume and make-up was designed by Jack Pierce. Due to the popularity of this movie, Frankenstein’s monster is thought to be a tall, towering figure wearing dark clothes.
The monster does not require sleep or nutrition because he is considered undead. He has super human strength. As previously mentioned, has access to basic human emotion, often feeling regretful of his existence because he understands that he is an atrocious abomination.
Frankenstein was a book written by Mary Shelley, a 19th century writer. It was originally published anonymously in 1818, and tells the story of a scientist who is conducting morally questionable experiments.
Contrary to popular belief, the monster that the scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein created was not named Frankenstein. The monster was never given an official name in the book, but Victor refers to it as “wretch,” “devil,” “ogre,” and other names. In modern day, it is perfectly acceptable to call the monster Frankenstein.
Victor used methods of alchemy and chemistry to create the monster. During the course of the story, the monster displays human like emotions; however, he is seen as ugly to humans and this makes him reclusive, dangerous, and angry. Eventually, the monster, enraged by his own creation, seeks out his creator for revenge.
Film and Literature
Dozens of version of Frankenstein’s monster has appeared on film and television. The most iconic version of the monster comes from three films produced in the 1930s: Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein. More recent renditions of Frankenstein’s monster has appeared in movies such as Hotel Transylvania, Van Helsing, and the yet to be released Bride of Frankenstein.
Frankenstein’s monster has also appeared in other forms of media. Both Marvel and DC Comics have versions of Frankenstein that exist in their canon. He has also appeared in numerous Castlevania video games, serving as a boss. The monster has appeared in various cartoons, like Looney Toons and the Flintstones.
Mary Shelley, the author of the original story, is credited as creating the horror genre with the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. The inspiration for the story could be credited to a volcanic eruption in 1816. This eruption left the globe in shambles, causing irregular weather throughout the entire world. Shelley herself said that bizarre weather kept her indoors during the Summer, making it possible for her to put her mind elsewhere. Without the eruption of 1816, Mary Shelley likely would have never wrote her story.