"Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful."
Aug 2015Sunday (30 August), marks what would have been Mary Shelley's 218th birthday.
Her novel Frankenstein is still a staple in schools today and has been reworked numerous times in film and theatre. Frankenstein's monster has been recreated in a number of guises too.
In honour of her birthday, let's take a look at her famous monster, as well as some other well-known monsters in literature.
"His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness."
Standing at eight-foot tall and made from left-over body parts, the monster in Frankenstein, is hideous. Even its creator Victor Frankenstein runs from it in repulsion and fear. Unfortunately for him, this rejection enrages the monster who then vows to seek revenge!
"Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere."
Bram Stoker's gothic horror Dracula shaped the image of the vampire into that which we still consider today; a supernatural being with a ghostly white complexion, jet black hair and sharp teeth. However, it is not so much Dracula's appearance in the novel which makes him terrifying, but his characteristic traits. He is intelligent, quick, strong, agile, and silent - a born predator.
"If ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend."
Through drinking a potent serum, the good, sensible lawyer Dr Jekyll turns into the monster that is Mr Hyde, in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The polar opposite of Dr Jekyll, he is psychotic, violent, and lacking in any human emotion. He is an incarnation of evil. When Jekyll starts involuntarily transforming into Hyde, he begins to fear the worst, that the day would come when Jekyll disappears altogether, leaving Hyde to rule.
"His malice gives him a strength hardly to be imagined."
Gollum from J R R Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was once an ordinary Stoor Hobbit named Sméagol, but the power of the ring corrupted him, and he degenerated into a half man, half beast creature. Living in isolation by an underground lake, Gollum feasts on raw meat, and goblins. Having been driven insane, his behaviour is unpredictable, and he is both pitiful and violent - a dangerous combination.
From Transylvanian monsters to man-made monsters, they come from anywhere and everywhere, but one thing's for sure, no matter their shape or size they'll all send shivers up your spine!