Frederick Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a 19th century German philosopher who attempted to refute all traditional ideas of morality, especially Christian morality (Leiter).
Nietzsche believed that the superior type of man was an unconventional man, one that set his own standards of conduct and utterly disregarded the norms and the orthodox opinions of his society (MacIntyre).
According to Nietzsche, the ‘Supermen’ strive into the unknown guided only by their own moral code and an intense passion:
“It involves the use of a rare and singular standard cold to everybody else; the discovery of values for which no scales have been invented yet; offering sacrifices on altars that are dedicated to an unknown god; a courage without any desire for honors; self-sufficiency that overflows and gives to men and things.” (Leiter)
In addition Nietzsche acknowledges two types of morality; one which he calls ‘Master-Morality’ is the morality of strong willed individuals. These individuals determine that which is good or bad through their own will and judgment. This morality weighs actions based upon their consequences. The other morality is the morality of weak willed individuals, the masses or ‘the herd’, it is a reaction to the ‘Master morality’. The ‘slave-morality’ weighs actions based on intentions (Leiter).
In the light of Nietzsche’s theories, Dr. Frankenstein’s disregard of conventional morality through the creation of the monster, his utter disregard for his creation’s happiness and wellbeing and his general coldness and lack of empathy are the very qualities that make a man great.
In addition we can see that the aims of Dr. Frankenstein, namely to banish death and to create a race of supermen is entirely in accordance with Nietzsche’s own aims of creating a heroic race of elite supermen.
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