Brilliant, tragic Victor Frankenstein! He dared to usurp the role of God, galvanizing a haphazard assortment of body parts into a creation of his own. Obviously, he did not think this through very carefully. Frankenstein paid dearly for his hubris, not only during the course of Mary Shelley’s novel, but forever after. His terrible creation, in the end, stole his very identity.
Shelley gives the monster no name at all, which allows the reader to envision any sort of private horror. But after the 1931 release of Universal Picture’s Frankenstein, the image of Boris Karloff with his flat head, bolted neck and miniature clothing became the prototype for the monster. The movies also contributed to name confusion that persists to this day. For example, in the 1935 movie, Bride of Frankenstein, a diabolical doctor creates a woman for the monster, whom he introduces as, “The Bride of Frankenstein!”
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