Kathryn Harkup, author of MAKING THE MONSTER: THE SCIENCE BEHIND MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN, was interviewed by the magazine "Philosophy Now". She was asked if Victor Frankenstein was mad.
|Posted: 02 October 2018 at 10:06am | IP Logged | 1
She said he wasn't. She said he was obsessed, lacking in foresight, and desperately in need of an ethics committee to oversee his work, but she didn't consider him mad. She talked about how the image of Dr. Frankenstein as a mad scientist is entirely from film and theatrical adaptations of the novel.
That got me thinking. I can't really talk about the novel as it's been donkey's years since I've read it.
If memory serves me right, and memory can be faulty, Colin Clive's portrayal (FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) did show us a mad scientist. I felt that Peter Cushing's portrayal, however, was more restrained in the Hammer Studios films he did.
There have been so many FRANKENSTEIN adaptations that I can't, whilst typing this, think of every Victor Frankenstein portrayal, but some that stand out don't make me think of the typical "mad scientist".
I suppose one could ask further questions. Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein didn't seem mad in the "waving hands and screaming" sense, but does madness necessarily equate to that? Can madness come in any form?
That aside, I suppose I'm going to throw some questions out. Answer as man or as few as possible:
1.) Would you say Victor Frankenstein, as originally envisioned by Mary Shelley, was mad?
2.) Do you think a particular actor got it right? Any favourites?
3.) What is madness?
That last one could be a topic in itself!