Victor Frankenstein is the main character in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. He is an Italian-Swiss scientist who, after studying chemical processes and the decay of living beings, gains an insight into the creation of life and gives life to his own creature, often referred to as Frankenstein's monster, or often colloquially referred to as simply "Frankenstein". Victor later regrets meddling with nature through his creation, as he inadvertently endangers his own life, as well as the lives of his family and friends, when the creature seeks revenge against him. Some aspects of the character are believed to have been inspired by 17th century alchemist Johann Conrad Dippel.
|Victor Henry Frankenstein|
|Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus character|
Art by Pablo Marcos
|Created by||Mary Shelley|
|Portrayed by||Colin Clive|
Jonny Lee Miller
|Nickname||Dr. Frankenstein, Heinrich "Henry" von Frankenstein, Mad scientist|
|Spouse||Elizabeth Lavenza (cousin/wife)|
|Religion||Christian (Roman Catholic)|
One of the characters of François-Félix Nogaret's novella Le Miroir des événements actuels ou la Belle au plus offrant, published in 1790, is an inventor named "Wak-wik-vauk-an-son-frankésteïn", then abridged as "Frankésteïn", but there is no proof Shelley had read it.
The character of Victor Frankenstein was born in Naples, Italy (according to the 1831 edition of the Shelley's novel) and raised in Geneva with his German-Swiss family. He was the son of Alphonse Frankenstein and Caroline Beaufort, who died of scarlet fever when Victor was 17. He describes his ancestry thus: "I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation." Frankenstein has two younger brothers—William, the youngest, and Ernest, the middle child. Frankenstein falls in love with Elizabeth Lavenza, who became his adoptive sister (his blood cousin in the 1818 edition) and, eventually, his fiancée.
As a boy, Frankenstein is interested in the works of alchemists such as Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Albertus Magnus, and he longs to discover the fabled elixir of life. He loses interest in both these pursuits and in science as a whole after seeing the remains of a tree struck by lightning; however, at the University of Ingolstadt in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Frankenstein develops a fondness for chemistry, and becomes obsessed with the idea of creating life in inanimate matter through artificial means, pursuing this goal for two years.
Assembling a humanoid creature through ambiguous means, Frankenstein successfully brings it to life, but he is horrified by the creature's ugliness. He flees his creation, who disappears and swears revenge on his creator. When William is found murdered, Frankenstein knows instantly that his creation is the killer, but says nothing. The Frankensteins' housekeeper, Justine, is blamed for the boy's death and executed; Frankenstein is wracked with guilt, but does not come forward with the truth because he thinks no one will believe his story, and he is afraid of the reactions such a story would provoke.
The creature approaches Frankenstein and begs him to create a female companion for him. Frankenstein agrees, but ultimately destroys this creation, aghast at the idea of a race of monsters. Enraged, the creature swears revenge; he kills Henry Clerval, Frankenstein's best friend, and promises Frankenstein, "You have denied me my wedding night - I will be with you on yours!" The creature keeps his promise by strangling Elizabeth on her matrimonial bed. That same night, Frankenstein's father dies of grief. With nothing else left to live for, Frankenstein dedicates his life to destroying the creature.
Frankenstein pursues the "fiend" or "Demon" (as he calls his creation) to the Arctic, intending to destroy it. He ultimately fails in his mission, as he falls through an ice floe and contracts severe pneumonia. Although he is rescued by a ship attempting an expedition to the North Pole, he dies after relating his tale to the ship's captain, Robert Walton. His creature, upon discovering the death of his creator, is overcome by sorrow and vows to commit suicide by burning himself alive in "the Northernmost extremity of the globe"; he then disappears, never to be seen or heard from again.
While many subsequent film adaptations (notably the 1931 movie Frankenstein and the Hammer Films series starring Peter Cushing) have portrayed Frankenstein as the prototypical "mad scientist", the novel portrayed him as a tragic figure.
Percy Shelley, Mary's husband, served as a major influence for the character. Victor was a pen name of Percy Shelley's, as in the collection of poetry he wrote with his sister Elizabeth, Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire. There is speculation that Percy was one of Mary Shelley's models for Victor Frankenstein; while a student at Eton College, he had "experimented with electricity and magnetism as well as with gunpowder and numerous chemical reactions", and his rooms at Oxford University were filled with scientific equipment. Percy Shelley was the first-born son of a wealthy, politically connected country squire, and a descendant of Sir Bysshe Shelley, 1st Baronet of Castle Goring, and Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel. As stated in the novel, Frankenstein's family is one of the most distinguished of the Genevese republic and his ancestors were counselors and syndics. Percy had a sister named Elizabeth; Frankenstein had an adopted sister, named Elizabeth. On 22 February 1815, Mary Shelley delivered a baby two months premature; the child died two weeks later. The question of Frankenstein's responsibility to the creature – in some ways like that of a parent to a child – is one of the main themes of the book.
Obsession plays a major role in the development of Frankenstein's character. First, as a child, he is obsessed with reading books on alchemy, astrology, and many pseudo-sciences. Later, as a young man, he becomes enthralled with the study of life sciences - mainly dealing with death and the reanimation of corpses. Finally, after the monster is created, Frankenstein is consumed with guilt, despair, and regret, leading him to obsess over the nature of his creation.
Beside the original novel, the character also appears or is mentioned in other books from pastiches to parodies.
In the 2001 Curtis Jobling book, Frankenstein's Cat, it features Frankenstein, sometime before creating his monster, creating a cat called Nine (named because he was made out of nine cats). This book was later adapted into a television series in 2007.
Not to be confused with his cousin, Abraham Frankenstein, who wrote the official state song of California, I Love You, California.Alfred Victor Frankenstein (October 5, 1906 – June 22, 1981) was an art and music critic, author, and professional musician.
He was the long-time art and music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He was noted for championing American art and coining the term Actual Art. His most famous book is After The Hunt, a volume that examined the trompe-l'œil movement in late 19th-century and early 20th-century American art, focussing especially on the painters William Harnett and John Frederick Peto. Among his colleagues, he was noted for his wit and his lack of tolerance for pretension.
Prior to becoming a journalist and critic, he played clarinet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was married to the concert violinist Sylvia Lent.
He also was professor of Art History at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1970s and a professor of Art History at Mills College in Oakland in the 1960s and 1970s.
Frankenstein was a cousin of Abraham F. Frankenstein, who composed the music of California's official state song, "I Love You, California".Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities
Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities is a four issue American comic book limited series published in 2005, by Dark Horse Comics. The series stars a fictional version of Billy the Kid, still alive in the year 1881 after the real life Billy the Kid was allegedly killed by Pat Garrett.
Written by Eric Powell, with artwork provided by Kyle Hotz, the series teams Billy the Kid with members of a travelling freak show in a quest to retrieve a powerful object from the castle of Dr. Victor Frankenstein.Charlie Tahan
Charles "Charlie" Tahan (born June 11, 1998) is an American actor. His notable roles include Wyatt Langmore in the Netflix original crime drama Ozark (2017-present), the voice of Victor Frankenstein in the Disney 3D stop-motion-animated fantasy horror comedy Frankenweenie (2012), Ben Burke in the Fox dystopian mystery thriller series Wayward Pines (2015–2016) and the young Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow in the Fox/DC Comics superhero drama Gotham (2015-2017).David Anders
David Anders Holt (born March 11, 1981), known professionally as David Anders, is an American television and stage actor. He is best known for his roles as Julian Sark on Alias, as Adam Monroe on Heroes, as John Gilbert in the TV series The Vampire Diaries, as Victor Frankenstein / Dr. Whale on ABC's Once Upon a Time, and as Blaine "DeBeers" McDonough on iZombie. Although Anders is American, a few of his roles have required him to use a British Home counties accent.Elizabeth Lavenza
Elizabeth Frankenstein (née Lavenza) is a fictional character first introduced in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In both the novel and its various film adaptations, she is the fiancée of Victor Frankenstein.Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in 1823.
Shelley travelled through Europe in 1814, journeying along the river Rhine in Germany with a stop in Gernsheim, which is 17 kilometres (11 mi) away from Frankenstein Castle, where, two centuries before, an alchemist was engaged in experiments. Later, she travelled in the region of Geneva (Switzerland)—where much of the story takes place—and the topic of galvanism and occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy and Lord Byron decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the novel's story.Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. At the same time, it is an early example of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence in literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films and plays.
Since the novel's publication, the name "Frankenstein" has often been used to refer to the monster itself. This usage is considered erroneous, but some commentators regard it as well-established and acceptable. In the novel, the monster is identified by words such as "creature", "monster", "daemon", "wretch", "abortion", "fiend" and "it". Speaking to Victor Frankenstein, the monster says "I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel" (which ties to Lucifer in Paradise Lost, which the monster reads, and which relates to the disobedience of Prometheus in the book's subtitle).Frankenstein's monster
Frankenstein's monster, often erroneously referred to as "Frankenstein", is a fictional character who first appeared in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley's title thus compares the monster's creator, Victor Frankenstein, to the mythological character Prometheus, who fashioned humans out of clay and gave them fire.
In Shelley's Gothic story, Victor Frankenstein builds the creature in his laboratory through an ambiguous method consisting of chemistry and alchemy. Shelley describes the monster as 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) and hideously ugly, but sensitive and emotional. The monster attempts to fit into human society but is shunned, which leads him to seek revenge against Frankenstein. According to the scholar Joseph Carroll, the monster occupies "a border territory between the characteristics that typically define protagonists and antagonists".Frankenstein's monster became iconic in popular culture, and has been featured in various forms of media, like films, television series, merchandise and video games. His most iconic version is his portrayal by Boris Karloff in the 1931 film Frankenstein.Frankenstein (2004 film)
Frankenstein is a 2004 made-for-television USA Network production starring Thomas Kretschmann as Victor Helios (supposedly the man that the fictional character Victor Frankenstein was based on) and Vincent Pérez as his creature. It was produced by Martin Scorsese and based on Dean Koontz's version of Frankenstein. The film was originally intended as the pilot for an ongoing series, but this was not successful. Koontz later developed the concept into a series of five novels: Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, Frankenstein: City of Night, Frankenstein: Dead and Alive, Frankenstein: Lost Souls, and Frankenstein: The Dead Town.Frankenstein (2011 play)
Frankenstein is a stage adaptation by Nick Dear of the novel of the same name.
Its world premiere was at the Royal National Theatre on 5 February 2011, where it officially opened on 22 February. This production was directed by Danny Boyle with a cast including Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, with the two lead actors alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. Frankenstein ended its run on 2 May 2011.Harry Treadaway
Harry John Newman Treadaway (born 10 September 1984) is an English actor known for his performance as Victor Frankenstein on the horror-drama series Penny Dreadful.Igor (character)
Igor, or sometimes Ygor, is a stock character lab assistant to many types of Gothic villains, (especially mad scientists) such as Count Dracula or Dr. Victor Frankenstein, familiar from many horror movies and horror movie parodies. Although Dr. Frankenstein had a hunchbacked assistant in the 1931 film Frankenstein, his name was Fritz; in the original Mary Shelley novel, Dr. Frankenstein has no lab assistant nor does a character named Igor appear.Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt (German pronunciation: [ˈɪŋɡɔlˌʃtat] (listen); Austro-Bavarian: [ˈɪŋl̩ʃtɔːd]) is a city in Bavaria, Germany, on the banks of the River Danube, in the centre of Bavaria. In 2016, it had 133,638 citizens, making it the fifth largest city in Bavaria. It is part of the Munich Metropolitan Region.
The Illuminati, an Age of Enlightenment secret society, was founded in Ingolstadt in the late 18th century.
Ingolstadt is a setting in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, where the scientist Victor Frankenstein creates his monster.
It is the site of the headquarters of the German automobile manufacturer Audi, defence aircraft manufacturer Airbus (formerly Cassidian Air Systems), and electronic stores Media Markt and Saturn.
Ingolstadt Central Station has been connected to Nuremberg by a high-speed rail link since May 2006. Ingolstadt also has a second passenger station at Ingolstadt Nord.Jessica Brown Findlay
Jessica Rose Brown Findlay (born 14 September 1989) is an English actress, most widely known for her role as Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV television period drama series Downton Abbey, and for her role as Emelia Conan Doyle in the 2011 British comedy-drama feature film Albatross.In 2014, she appeared as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale. In 2015, she co-starred in Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein as Lorelei, the Esmerelda-like acrobat. In 2016, she joined the cast of the new biopic feature film, England is Mine, about the early life and career of English singer Morrissey, who co-founded the indie rock band The Smiths.Beginning in 2017, Brown Findlay portrays Charlotte Wells, a madam's daughter and prostitute, in Harlots, a period drama television series screening on ITV Encore in the U.K. and on Hulu Plus in the U.S. The TV series focuses on Margaret Wells, who runs a brothel in 18th century England and struggles to raise her daughters in a chaotic household.Joined At The Heart
Joined At The Heart is a musical with music and lyrics by Graham Brown & Geoff Meads, book by Frances Anne Bartam and directed by Frances Brownlie. It is an evocative story of love, morals, relationships and ethics. A new musical, the show tells the love story of Victor Frankenstein and his step sister Elizabeth, a young orphan girl taken in by Victor's parents and cared for as if she were their own daughter. When Victor's mother dies, he vows to end the suffering that death brings. While in pursuit of eternal life, the love story between Victor and Elizabeth evolves to a thrilling climax all set to an enthralling musical and lyrical score.
Joined At The Heart reached the final of the Worldwide Search for Musicals competition. The show saw its first performance at The Junction 2 in Cambridge, UK from 1–4 August 2007. Following its Cambridge run it moved to the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Joined at the Heart was the first Musical to be streamed live on Second Life the virtual world, on Saturday 4 August 2007.Kenneth Oppel
Kenneth Oppel (born August 31, 1967) is a Canadian children's writer.The Curse of Frankenstein
The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), and established "Hammer Horror" as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.The film was directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Creature, with Hazel Court and Robert Urquhart. Professor Patricia MacCormac called it the "first really gory horror film, showing blood and guts in colour."The Doctor (Once Upon a Time)
"The Doctor" is the fifth episode of the second season of the American ABC fantasy/drama television series Once Upon a Time, and the show's 27th episode overall, which aired on October 28, 2012.
It was co-written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Paul Edwards.Victor Frankenstein (film)
Victor Frankenstein is a 2015 American science fantasy horror film based on contemporary adaptations of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein. It is directed by Paul McGuigan and written by Max Landis, and stars James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor. The film was released by 20th Century Fox on November 25, 2015.
Told from Igor's perspective, it shows the troubled young assistant's dark origins and his redemptive friendship with the young medical student, Victor Frankenstein. Through Igor's eyes, the audience witnesses the emergence of Frankenstein as the man from the legend we know today. Eventually, their experiments get them into trouble with the authorities, and Dr. Frankenstein and Igor become fugitives as they complete their goals to use science as a way to create life from death. The film received generally negative reviews and became a box office bomb, grossing $34.2 million against a budget of $40 million.Young Frankenstein
Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy horror film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and Peter Boyle as the monster. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Gene Hackman. The screenplay was written by Wilder and Brooks.The film is a parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein produced by Universal Pictures in the 1930s. Much of the lab equipment used as props was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the 1931 film Frankenstein. To help evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture entirely in black and white, a rarity in the 1970s, and employed 1930s' style opening credits and scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black. The film also features a period score by Brooks' longtime composer John Morris.
A critical favorite and box office smash, Young Frankenstein ranks No. 28 on Total Film magazine's readers' "List of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films of All Time", No. 56 on Bravo TV's list of the "100 Funniest Movies", and No. 13 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 funniest American movies. In 2003, it was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the United States National Film Preservation Board, and selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. It was later adapted by Brooks and Thomas Meehan as a stage musical.
On its 40th anniversary, Brooks considered it by far his finest (although not his funniest) film as a writer-director.