Mary Shelley's Frankenstein text guide

FrankensteinThe story of Frankenstein is well-known all over the world. Although it was the original invention of Mary Shelley, since its publication in 1819 it has been told and re-told in many different genres including comic books, plays and films.

This tale of a scientist who creates a being out of the parts of dead bodies and brings it to life has acquired an almost mythical status, providing a terrifying image of terror of a semi-human monster at large in the world. It also sounds a warning about the dangers of scientific experimentation. Frankenstein is often mentioned in discussions of such contemporary controversies as genetic engineering

This text guide will help you explore the themes and symbolism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, in addition to the original context in which it was written.

Mary Shelley

Mary ShelleyMary was born to a feminist mother and an atheist father. When she was a young woman of barely twenty, she eloped with one of the leading poets of the age, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Read more . . .

Context of Frankenstein

King George IIIThe French Revolution, the most influential political event of the period during which Frankenstein was conceived and written actually took place in 1789. While in England King George III was suffering from bouts of madness. Read more . . .

Dive in to the Frankenstein text guide

Synopses and commentary - Scene by scene synopsis, commentary and analysis of the entire novel.

Characters in the novel - Detailed analysis of the important characters in Frankenstein and the role they play.

Frankenstein Timeline - Helpfully puts history, literary events and Shelley's life side by side so you can make sense of events.

Themes and significant ideas - Research themes and significant ideas that feature in Frankenstein.

Frankenstein e-book - Read the book and research the text, all for free and online.

How to do well in your essays

Decide what the key words of the question are, and underline them.

If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.

Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.

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