Happy 200th Birthday, Frankenstein!

It’s about time to start our module on the great female writer, Mary Shelley, the writer of Frankenstein and wife of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Two hundred years ago, on 1 January 1818, the novel Frankenstein was first published. Mary Shelley had conceived the novel two years previously, when she was 18 years old, just like you, while spending the summer in Switzerland with P.B.Shelley & Lord Byron. The weather was unusually cold and miserable because of an extraordinary event: half a world away, in Indonesia, the volcano Tambora had erupted. It was the largest volcanic eruption in human history. The ash and gas spewed by the volcano blocked the sun’s rays and cooled temperatures around the globe. Mary and her friends found the weather that year, which came to be known as ‘the year without summer’, to be perfect for sitting indoors and reading ghost stories. So they decided that each of them should write one. One night, a vision struck her imagination: in it she saw a crazy scientist giving life to a monstrous creature. Mary’s vision became the novel Frankenstein. (source Zanichelli Aula Lingue)

Here’s my presentation  Powered by emaze

And for those 10  who were absent in Alternanza Scuola Lavoro I’ve also made a video. it lacks the INTERACTIVITY of our lesson but I hope you’ll find it helpful.

“Everything you need to know to read Frankenstein” is also an interesting video by TedED. we watched in class ( for those who were in ASL) 

You know the novel pretty well since you read it as a summer set book but you can revise its main features through this 10 TopNotes video. Did you discover anything odd or new? SHARE it in class next time.

From the National Library of Medicine (thanks to EdTech teacher this exhibition FRANKENSTEIN PENETRATING THE SECRETS OF NATURE looks at the world from which Mary Shelley came, how popular culture has embraced the Frankenstein story, and at how Shelley’s creation continues to illuminate the blurred, uncertain boundaries of what we consider “acceptable” science.

Or else you can watch the latest video: Frankenstein THE MODERN PROMETHEUS Extra Sci Fi.

I’m also embedding a very interesting Frankenstein Google Literary Trip, so that you can visualize the places of the novel. It was meant for a teacher so you needn’t focus on all information, just select the relevant one. It lasts 6m‘.

Frankenstein from GoogleLitTrips on Vimeo.

END OF ASSIGNMENT PART ONE ( due for Friday 26th) ********************************************************************************************

PART TWO : after reading the Extract in class (due for Tuesday 1 February) 


The following video clip is taken from “Frankenstein the 1931 classic showing the trials and tribulations of the man and his monster, directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive.

The second video is taken from Kenneth Branagh’s movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994 ) and it’s the scene of  The CREATION OF THE MONSTER.  Sticking close to the original novel, Kenneth Branagh guides us through the story of Frankenstein’s quest for knowledge and his creature’s search for his “father”. Director: Kenneth Branagh/Release Date: 4 November 1994starring  Robert de Niro, Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter.

  • Assignment 1 After watching the clip answer the following questions IN YOUR NOTEBOOK.
  1. What leads to the creation of the monster?
  2. What does Dr.Frankenstein look like? How does he feel before and after the creation?
  3. What does he say DURING and AFTER the creation?
  4. Does the soundtrack contribute to the atmosphere of the scene?
The next video is from Victor Frankenstein, told from Igor’s perspective (2016), starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy

Dealing with cinematic versions of Mary Shelley’s novel, we cannot ignore the beautiful short Frankenweenie 2012 – directed by Tim Burton – from Walt Disney Pictures – a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog – cast includes Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau. I loved it!

Assignment 2  Orally in class  Which of the cinematic adaptations of the novel you have seen do you find more impressive and why?

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