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Frankenstein Gothic Play Analysis

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The gothic genre is presented in Philip Pullman’s play adaptation of Mary Shelley’s original novel, Frankenstein. The play explores setting, characterization and plot. The setting explores the time, location and events in the play; characterisation allows the readers to understand the characters traits and motivations; the plot reflects the conflict, rising action, climax and resolution used.

The gothic genre is reflected through the settings and lifestyle of the 1816s. In Shelley’s period, in the mid 1816, the society were undergoing a new era called the romantic era. During the romantic era men tried to create unnatural figures as anticipated in their dream life and discovering of God-like elements. This reflects Frankenstein because as a philosopher he played around with what was beyond the realm of human possibility, “It’s a human hand! The index finger-yes! It’s definitely moving (Clerval)… I dug it up last night (Frankenstein).” Another gothic example is Frankenstein’s; the monster creation was based in that room. The room had a desk, windows and furniture. As Philip Pullman mentioned, Frankenstein’s room is typically cold and mysterious, “(gives the end of the wire to Clerval, then goes back and pop the window open) we’ll freeze to death, man! (Clerval)”. The coldness of the room represents a figure of death, suffering and/or sadness which portrays gothic. In the end Frankenstein dies at the North Pole out in the snow which also signifies that his death was based in a freezing cold place.

Characters are the defining gothic factor in Philips Pullman’s Frankenstein play. Mary Shelley symbolises Frankenstein, the protagonist and main character of the play as god because of his unnatural creation. Frankenstein’s dream was to create what’s better than human, something precious and beautiful like an angel but instead The Monster turned out to be a ‘hideous creature’. The monster was isolated from the society and annihilated. He felt lonely and just want a friend, “Friend! Friend! I will not hurt anyone. I am their friend. Friend of everyone. I give you…Not hurt anyone. Not kill, not hurt. Friend”. His feeling is base on love because he just wants people to acknowledge him; he does not want to be known as a monster but as a friend. Due to the isolation and not being able to get accepted by the society, the monster grew hatred and found his way to release his suffered feeling and anger which is by killing his creator, Frankenstein close friends and family. Philip Pullman forces the readers to feel pity of The Monster and his treatments. Even though the character Agathe is blind and all, she is able to see the monster’s personality and his feelings. Agathe understands that the villagers want the monster dead because he is an outcast but Agathe also understand that she can help and support him because the monster is not evil, he just wants to be safe and to have a friend, “we should understood him…We could have helped him-he begged for it!”.

The Plot in Frankenstein portrays the gothic events in Frankenstein play. In the original novel the main conflict is when Frankenstein’s mother dies. This result to Frankenstein’s obsession with death and bringing it to life. In the play, the main conflict is when Frankenstein brought The Monster to life. Frankenstein is obsessed with the science of creation which Clerval think is unnatural. As a result of bringing the monster to life, Frankenstein families and friends dies. The monster is unhappy with his life and did not know what to do because Frankenstein neglected him. He wanted Frankenstein to feel the pain that he is in. As a result he killed William, Frankenstein’s brother, “I found such a child…and I killed your brother”. Another critical event is when Clerval destroyed the monster’s bride. If he had let the bride come to life, The Monster and his bride would have run off where no men would go but because of that, the monster defines everyone as destroyer and wish to kill everyone, especially Frankenstein. In the end Frankenstein hunts The Monster down as revenge to Elizabeth death.

Gothic exists throughout Frankenstein play by Philip Pullman. Frankenstein is wrong for judging the monster by his appearance. The monster wants everyone to befriend with him. He does not intend to hurt anyone but since Frankenstein took away his happiness by neglecting him, he put his anger and sadness into William. The monster is as human as everyone else but he was treated as an outsider which reflects to gothic.

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