Frankenstein’s spectacular nineteenth-century stage history and legacy
in Adapting Frankenstein
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This chapter tracks several major scenes and trends that are central to the iconography of the Frankenstein Complex today – creation scenes, death scenes, and rehabilitation plots – and traces their developments to dramatisations for the nineteenth-century popular theatre. Better understanding the origins of iconic moments and trends in Frankenstein’s adaptation history, and their origins in popular theater, demonstrates adaptation’s central role in Frankenstein’s narrative evolution from novel to culture-text. Melodramas and comedies based on Frankenstein are treated with equal interest because the latter genre is typically ignored or downplayed but has equal cultural force as do the more ‘serious’ adaptations of the nineteenth century stage and later films.

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