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Lily and Her Bride of Frankenstein Heritage

If you are a fan of the TV series Penny Dreadful, you know how the character Lily is an incarnation of the bride of Frankenstein. If you’ve never seen the show, you’ll still enjoy an article from Den of Geek that deconstructs the latest episode, and then gets into the history of the bride of Frankenstein character, from Mary Shelley’s first imagining to the various cinematic versions. Dr. Frankenstein’s second creation is not only a monster made of dead body parts, but she also presents us with ethical issues in her very existence as a manufactured mate for the first monster. What could possibly go wrong? Witness the climatic scene from the 1935 movie The Bride of Frankenstein:

As soon as she is forced to sit next to Karloff’s beautifully sad sack Monster, her immediate reaction is to hiss and scream, and to run to Henry for protection. Implicitly, this all-too-brief climax of the film sets up a love triangle between the doctor, the Monster, and the Bride, which has become part of the lore ever since. Some have even speculated that without censors around, Whale would have made the Bride be partially borne from the spare parts of Henry Frankenstein’s own wife, Elizabeth, thus doubling down on the triangle.

Exactly the worst case scenario that Shelley’s Victor imagined about the Mate, she rejects in total the Creature that cannot find even love or pity from one of his own species, which is heart-wrenchingly underscored by composer Franz Waxman’s three-notes of whimsical wistfulness.

Then there was the very odd Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), the creepy 1985 film The Bride, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994). They each gave the resurrected bride a different flavor, as you’ll read at Den of Geek.


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