Frankenstein Questions and Answers
by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein book cover
Start Your Free Trial

I need as many quotes as possible that show/refer to the "dangerous/forbidden knowledge" in Frankenstein.

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,894 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

From an early age, Victor Frankenstein is attracted by the allure not of science but of alchemy, with its forbidden fruits and promises or dreams of omnipotence. For instance, when he arrives at his university, he is disappointed that his researches into alchemy are pooh-poohed, stating:

I had a contempt for the uses of modern natural philosophy. It was very different when the masters of the science sought immortality and power; such views, although futile, were grand ...

He wants not science but grandeur and glory, by whatever means it takes.

Earlier, when Victor is disgusted by a natural scientist explaining the workings lightening that felled an oak tree, he is briefly snatched from the addictive and obsessive grasp of his desire to use the forbidden knowledge of alchemy to achieve power, positing his desire as nothing less than a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. He describes his turn from science as the work of a guardian angel:

... the last effort made by the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,031 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,127 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


meganmjh | Student

Here's a few quotes I found:

"How much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." --> (V.Frankenstein).

"If I fail there, I am an outcast in the world forever." --> (Daemon/monster).

"So astonishing a power placed within my hands." --> (V.Frankenstein).

Creature and creator become aligned or paralleled- merging identity; "I too can create desolation."

Frankenstein's comment that he "set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation".