This Thing of Darkness: Caliban and the Creature from Frankenstein – Shakespeare & Beyond
With Halloween on its way, Austin Tichenor, author of the play FRANKENSTEIN, explores parallels between Caliban from The Tempest and the Creature from Shelley’s Frankenstein. for the Folger Shakespeare Library.
As the days get shorter and witching hour approaches, one’s thoughts turn away from present-day horrors and towards famous fictional ones. At least mine do.
One of the enduring confusions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is that “Frankenstein” is not the name of the Creature, brought to life on a laboratory table, but the name of his creator, the “natural philosopher” who became “capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter.” It’s an understandable mistake, as there’s definitely a chicken-and-egg question about the two characters: Which came first, the Creature, who’s considered a monster, or his creator, Victor Frankenstein, who treated him monstrously?
Or, to ask it another way, are monsters born—or made?