Don’t challenge God’s almighty power. Live your life and obey God. Victor Frankenstein challenges God’s power. He creates a living creature, a true monster. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein becomes a modern Prometheus by creating his monster. If you compare Victor Frankenstein to Prometheus, you will see that there are some common elements between him and the Titan. Like him Frankenstein goes too far and does not accept his own limits. Frankenstein has a little bit of the “creative fire of heaven” and learns to give life to a selfmade body. He tries to be something like God, like a big creator and creates his own man. His dream is to shape a whole species which would bless him, a species of wonderful and happy natures. “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.” (Shelley 38) But with the fulfillment of his dream Victor Frankenstein breaks through the limits of society and falls in deep isolation. As Prometheus, who was, after being tied up to his rock, alone with the sea and the weather, Frankenstein feels left out by society.
Even if he makes this isolation himself, nobody knows anything about his creation, he cannot run away from it. From this point of view Frankenstein has a lot in common with the classic Prometheus, the dream and the creation of a new species, and the disregard of limits. But on the other hand Frankenstein is quite different from Prometheus. When the Titan recognizes that his human beings do not know how to use their capabilities, for example they do not see anything although they are able to see and they do not hear anything although they are able to hear, he takes care of his creatures, he teaches them to observe the stars, to read and write and to heal. And when Zeus refuses to give them fire, Prometheus exposes himself to danger to bring them fire. Victor Frankenstein on the other hand refuses his responsibility and flees from his creature after having brought it to life. He lets the creature alone, ignorant as it is. “The porter opened the gates of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would represent to my view.” (Shelley 44)
He is not able to understand that he as creator is a father and responsible for his creature and that he has to show it how to deal with its ugliness and how to treat human beings, for example. He tells the creature nothing about human life and human society. Even at the end of the story he does not accept his own failure of moral imaginations and dies without understanding the nature of his guilt. Victor is a modern Prometheus. The connection to the myth is positive. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods for man and was punished by having a his liver ripped out for eternity. Frankenstein attempted to unlock the secrets of life and his punishment was to see everything he loved destroyed by his actions. Both suffered for their actions on going against a greater powers authority. Each paid the consequences. During Prometheus’ time creating man and giving it fire, he didn’t deprive himself of anything, unlike Victor.
“I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health.” (Shelley 42) Victor deprives himself of rest and health just to see his creation kill his loved ones later on. In conclusion Victor Frankenstein becomes a modern Prometheus by creating his monster. There are common elements between Victor and Prometheus. Each have the dream and creation of a new species. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods for man. Frankenstein attempted to unlock the secrets of life. Both suffered for their actions on going against a greater powers authority.