Date Presented

Winter 1-1-2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Oeida Hatcher

Second Advisor

Esther Olin

Third Advisor

Kate Gray


Since its first publication in 1818, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein has left a lasting impression upon the world speaking to a multitude of audiences including artists, scientists, philosophers, and society as a whole. Considering the impact of Frankenstein through its evolution as a cultural myth in various plays and films, this thesis will provide a way to gauge the relevance of Shelley’s story as an adaptation. Only by knowing what has been done in the past and how the materials have been used by other playwrights and screenwriters can one understand how to handle them as an original work. The purpose of this project was to examine and identify the main themes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in her original 1818 work; to analyze interpretations in film adaptations from 1931-1994; and to determine how Shelley’s work applies to modern culture in order to lay the groundwork for an original play (the play itself is not a part of this thesis, but an analysis of the structure is provided). The specific problems of the project are as follows: 1) To provide biographical information on Mary Shelley and general information on the influences that led to her creation of Frankenstein; 2) To explore themes of the novel addressed by literary critics; 3) To analyze the identified themes in film adaptations from 1931-94; 4) To analyze the application of Shelley’s original work and interpolation of this research into a contemporary, musical adaptation. Appendices have been added to support this project. Appendix A is a personal analysis of Shelley’s 1818 novel including notes and quotations compiled from two separate readings. Appendix B is the final revision of the original script. Appendix C contains the finalized score for the vocal and instrumental music. Appendix D is a set diagram. Appendix E contains photographs of possible costumes, images for set decoration, and a sketch of the monster’s make-up. Appendix F is the literature review for sources used in Sections I, II, and III.