From one of the most impactful novels of all time, these Frankenstein Quotes bring to light the idea of being human, being monster, and everything in between.
What can we learn from Mary Shelley’s story and creation of a genre?
Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley as part of a challenge by her writer friends. In writing and creating the world of Frankenstein’s monster, Shelley also created an entirely new genre: science fiction.
Science fiction at its finest is found in Shelley’s Frankenstein, and in powerful science fiction, as in her story, it becomes clear that the most profound way to explain humanity is through the inhuman.
Through these Frankenstein quotes, it becomes clear how inhumane humans can be, and how human monsters can be.
We also have a collection of Machiavelli quotes on power and morality. Be sure to also read that.
Frankenstein Quotes About Being Human
1. “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Frankenstein
2. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” – Frankenstein
3. “Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.” – Frankenstein
4. “How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!” – Frankenstein
5. “How ignorant art though in thy pride of wisdom!” – Frankenstein
6. “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.” – Frankenstein
7. “It may… be judged indecent in me to come forward on this occasion; but when I see a fellow-creature about to perish through the cowardice of her pretended friends, I wish to be allowed to speak, that I may say what I know of her character.” – Frankenstein
8. “It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another.” – Frankenstein
9. “Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.” – Frankenstein
10. “Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.” – Frankenstein
11. “A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility.” – Frankenstein
12. “The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature.” – Frankenstein
13. “I looked upon the sea, it was to be my grave.” – Frankenstein
14. “These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike.” – Frankenstein
15. “We are fashioned creatures, but half made up.” – Frankenstein
16. “My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.” – Frankenstein
Don’t forget to also check out these V for Vendetta quotes about society and humanity.
Frankenstein Quotes About the Impact of Our Lives
17. “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.” – Frankenstein
18. “I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” – Frankenstein
19. “Heavy misfortunes have befallen us, but let us only cling closer to what remains, and transfer our love for those whom we have lost to those who yet live.” – Frankenstein
20. “When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?” – Frankenstein
21. “He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.” – Frankenstein
22. “For a moment my soul was elevated from its debasing and miserable fears to which these sights were monuments and the remembrances. For and instant I dared to shake off my chains, and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self.” – Frankenstein
23. “The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality.” – Frankenstein
24. “I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within me. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy.” – Frankenstein
25. “The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.” – Frankenstein
26. “Return as heroes who have fought and conquered, and who know not what it is to turn their backs on the foe.” – Frankenstein
27. “Why did I not die? More miserable than man ever was before, why did I not sink into forgetfulness and rest? Death snatches away many blooming children, the only hopes of their doting parents: how many brides and youthful lovers have been one day in the bloom of health and hope, and the next a prey for worms and the decay of the tomb! Of what materials was I made, that I could thus resist so many shocks, which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture? But I was doomed to live.” – Frankenstein
28. “I am malicious because I am miserable.” – Frankenstein
29. “Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock.” – Frankenstein
30. “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul can focus its intellectual eye.” – Frankenstein
Also read these Catcher in the Rye quotes for existing in society.
Frankenstein Quotes About Love and Monsters
31. “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” – Frankenstein
32. “There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.” – Frankenstein
33. “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.” – Frankenstein
34. “Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth.” – Frankenstein
35. “There is love in me the likes of which you’ve never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.” – Frankenstein
36. “Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity and ruin.” – Frankenstein
37. “Hateful day when I received life! Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?” – Frankenstein
38. “I am alone and miserable. Only someone as ugly as I am could love me.” – Frankenstein
39. “I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other.” – Frankenstein
40. “What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” – Frankenstein
Frankenstein Quotes About the Discovery of the World
41. “The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.” – Frankenstein
42. “The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.” – Frankenstein
43. “With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.” – Frankenstein
44. “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” – Frankenstein
45. “If I see but one smile on your lips when we meet, occasioned by this or any other exertion of mine, I shall need no other happiness.” – Frankenstein
46. “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.” – Frankenstein
47. “I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken you affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.” – Frankenstein
48. “My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading.” – Frankenstein
49. “Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to a mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on a rock.” – Frankenstein
50. “A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study.” – Frankenstein
51. “I feel exquisite pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind, and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self.” – Frankenstein
For even more inspiration, also check out these Little Prince quotes about life.
What is the truth behind the story, and what can it show us about humanity?
These Frankenstein quotes show us the true humanity that lies within monsters, and the true monsters that lie within humans. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is Mary Shelley’s creation, and the start of a popular genre that lives on and thrives in today’s culture. Because of its historical and cultural significance, Frankenstein is still taught in schools today, and works to bring awareness to what makes us truly human.
Through these quotes, it becomes clear that the monster wasn’t the monster at all, but was instead simply the creation of the human monster, Dr. Frankenstein himself. Through this, we learn what it truly means to be human, and that true humanity doesn’t come from appearing human, but from being good at heart.
What’s you biggest takeaway from these Frankenstein quotes and lines? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
January 11, 2020 7:00 AM EST