Monsters in Literature Andi, Kelsey & Kileen

Claim

The role of monsters in literature is for authors to be able to comment on the continuing fears society has as well as the weaknesses it may cause.

The Sphinx

(mythology)

The Spinx represented knowledge and intelligence and symbolized the fear and awe Egyptian men had of their gods. Similar to how modern men may fear gods in their own religions.

for more information on the myth of the sphinx, watch the above video

Frankenstein's Monster

"Great God! 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; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes"
"The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind"

Frankenstein’s monster is used by Shelley to say that society gets the monsters we deserve. We create these monsters both by science and our actions, by neglecting and avoiding people/things with socially unacceptable appearances and behaviors. Shelley is commenting on the fact that we have a responsibility to reach out to the outcasts in society.

Basilisk

"Its methods of killing are most wondrous, for aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death"

One of the earliest accounts of the basilisk comes from Pliny the Elder's Natural History, written in roughly 79 AD

This is one example of an older monster coming back into modern focus

Medusa & Percy Jackson

Modern Authors continue to draw on past monsters and past fears. Society has been unable to move past terrors that have been around for generations. This could be making a comment on how society has been unable to evolve to the point where we could be fearless. this "weakness" is a common theme in many modern works.

for more information on the myth of medusa, watch the above video

Monsters Inc.

why have modern films featuring monsters tried to make them less scary?

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