Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Pop-Culture Evolution of Frankenstein’s Monster

...The nuances of Shelley’s novel were largely shed in the formation of that myth. Victor Frankenstein, the complex, tortured genius, became a mad scientist; his creature went from a French-speaking, poetry-reading autodidact to a grunting, groaning killer. Through prints, paintings, ephemera and photography, Frayling traces the creature’s visual evolution. In Richard Brinsley Peake’s 1823 play “Presumption, or the Fate of Frankenstein,” the first stage production of the novel, the monster appears as an unwieldy, but not unattractive, muscle-bound giant in a toga. Political cartoonists simplified the monster to caricature perceived social threats (“The Irish Frankenstein” became a popular motif). By the time Boris Karloff appeared onscreen in 1931, the monster had become a heavy-lidded, bolt-necked brute...
NYTIMES link here.
chard Wynn Keene of the actor O. Smith as the Monster in the first revival of “Presumption!” or the Fate of Frankenstein, at the English Opera House, Lyceum, in summer 1828. Courtesy of Jennie Bissett.CreditFrom “Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years”