Frankenstein and The Prestige

Name _______________________________________________
Frankenstein and The Prestige
The Prestige is a movie from 2006 directed by Christopher Nolan (of Batman Begins, Inception, and The
Dark Knight Rises Fame). It stars Christian Bale as Alfred Borden, Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier, and
Michael Caine as Cutter.
The movie is set in England and Colorado during the late 1900s, about one hundred years after the
setting of Frankenstein. However, you will see that the plot, the setting, the characters, and the themes
share much in common with Frankenstein.
The purpose of watching the movie in class this week is to study the characters and themes of these two
works and to compare how they are shown.
Some possible essay topics follow, though you are welcome to explore other ideas:
1. What is the nature of obsession? What are the positive and negative outcomes of pursuing an
obsession? What do the characters in Frankenstein and The Prestige reveal about the nature of
2. Compare the character of Victor Frankenstein to either Alfred Borden or Robert Angier. How are
they similar? What are the lessons their lives show us readers and viewers?
3. Both Frankenstein and The Prestige rely on newfound science (at the time of their settings) for
major plot points. Create a pitch for a story which would take place in modern times that would
feature a similarly obsessed character, cutting edge science, and a major plot twist that hinges
on both the character and the science.
4. Write an essay that examines a theme of your choice that you see in common between
Frankenstein and The Prestige. You should address how the characters in both the novel and the
movie reflect this theme and how the author/moviemakers seem to feel about the nature of
that theme.