In Frankenstein, what makes Victor Frankenstein a mad scientist?
For Victor Frankenstein, science isn't about improving the lot of humanity. It's about power; it's about control; it's about creating a race of weird creatures that will take over the planet and worship you like a god. This, more than anything else, is what makes him "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," to quote something Lady Caroline Lamb said about Mary Shelley's contemporary Lord Byron.
Most scientists see their work as a collaborative venture, with great minds coming together to advance the cause of human knowledge. But not Victor. He's a solo act. He works alone. If he cut in any other scientists on his crazy little enterprise, then he'd lose all the glory, and that's the last thing he wants. Victor sees himself as one of life's visionaries. Nothing wrong with that, you might think—except when the vision in question happens to be completely insane. There's no doubt that Victor's a gifted scientist, a man of great learning and intelligence. But there's also no doubt that he sees science...
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