The titanic clash at the root of this plot between creatures returning to plead with their maker to extend and improve their existential state has much in common with The setting and symbolism against which this cinematic passage from hate to love unfolds should also resonate with any audience member even slightly familiar with Romantic aesthetics and tropes since both features reflect the enduring influence of the Gothic and the sublime.
With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.
It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.
He has studied for years and committed crimes and sins to obtain the knowledge required and to obtain the raw materials necessary.
He knows exactly what he is creating, what it is made from and what it is, yet, when he first sees it, he is consumed by revulsion and horror. Here is Victor Frankenstein’s reaction:‘‘It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils.
It will take another 200 years before aesthetic concepts such as the sublime and the beautiful can be turned into programmes to create the landscapes of virtual reality where one could escape the excess of the real by accessing an excess of the sublime imagination.
In Ridley Scott’s (1968) the clash between creatures engineered in biomedical laboratories to serve as combat shock-troops in the colonial expansion of humanity into space and those who are responsible for their creation (the Tyrell Corporation run by another modern-day Prometheus) is the main cinematic concern.
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The Creature serves only as an inversion of the sublime.
Although the wretch does inspire feelings of fearfulness and overwhelming power required of the sublime it still cannot be part of it as the Creature is so overwhelmingly ugly both physically and psychologically for this ‘modern-day’ Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein.