What quality in young Frankenstein proves to be his tragic flaw later in life?
Frankenstein’s greatest flaw is indicated in Shelley’s subtitle for the original text, ‘The modern Prometheus’. The idea behind the character of Victor Frankenstein draws on the myth whereby Prometheus steals the gift of fire from the Gods and gives it to mankind. In the Frankenstein story, Victor Frankenstein stepped beyond the boundaries of Man’s moral and ethical responsibility by creating life beyond the natural, God given methods.
Victor considers only the theory of his work, and the possibility that he can achieve a task equal to God. What he does not consider are the moral and ethical implications of his work. When the enormity of his task is revealed in a its brutish form, Victor is appalled by the results of his actions:
The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.