Intro to Frankenstein

Intro to Frankenstein

Author: Greg Coleman

The students will have enough background information to read Frankenstein to analyze character motivations and how Shelley uses her father's philosophy as a background for the novel.

The students will know what to look for as they read the novel in order to gather evidence to discuss themes.


An introduction to Frankenstein for my students.

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Intro Video!

Watch my introductory comments on Frankenstein.

After you watch, write down a question or two that occurred to you--or a question that someone else might have about Frank. Bring these to class on the due date for the first section of the novel.

Why, you might ask, are we reading Paradise Lost and Frankenstein at the same time? PL is all in class. Frank is outside of class for one. Secondly, PL is largely background material for our purposes (I know that is like some kind of English teacher sin--third ring or something for me!). Thirdly, we HAVE to get Frank in here and now or we will wind up with like a week-and-a-half for Hamlet, and that really would be a tragedy!

Intro Articles

Read the following articles to orient yourself.
  • Shmoop's Introduction to Frankenstein: Read the "In a Nutshell" and "Why Should I Care?" sections. On a sheet of paper, note at least three points that the article makes that you agree with, disagree with, find interesting, or want to discuss. Bring them to class on the due date of the first section of the novel.


  • The Gothic Novel: Shelly's work isn't exactly a Gothic novel, but it does borrow heavily from the genre, so you need to know a few things about it. Again, make at least three notes about points you find interesting or noteworthy (see what I did there) to bring to class.  (Oh and this article is actually student-generated research from a university.)


  • Finally, read a copy of the Intro PDF below, which discusses Shelley's life a bit as well as her father's philosophy, which Shelly sort of refutes in the novel. Note what you feel is the main idea of Goodwin's philosophy--or the strangest part, or the part you agree with or disagree with. Again, bring to class on the due date of the first section of the novel.  



Also, watch this video on YouTube advertising a stage play of the novel. The play starred Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock in Elementary and Sherlock in Sherlock--funny ol' world ain't it). The two actors flipped the roles every night so one would be Victor and the other the Monster, and then they'd switch the next night of performance. The video edits together a discussion between creature and creator with the actors switching roles all throughout. It's brief but just awesome!



Download the Study Guide PDF below if you need to replace yours for whatever reason.
Due dates were on the copy of the study guide issued in class. They are: Part 1 due 11/5-6; Part 2 due 11-13/14; Part 3 due 11-28/29

Intro to Frankenstein

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Frankenstein Reading Guide

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