Frankenstein's monster, sometimes known as Frankenstein, is a fictional character whose fictional creator was Victor Frankenstein. The monster first appeared, without any name, in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel 'Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'. Shelley's title thus compares Victor Frankenstein to the mythological character Prometheus who fashioned humans out of clay and gave them fire. Although nameless in Shelley's novel, the creature took on the name "Frankenstein" in later years.
As told by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein builds the creature in his laboratory through an ambiguously described scientific method consisting of chemistry (from his time as a student at University of Ingolstadt) and alchemy (largely based on the writings of Paracelsus, Albertus Magnus, and Cornelius Agrippa). The creature horrifies Frankenstein who disavows the experiment.
Shelley describes the monster as 8-foot-tall (2.4 m), hideously ugly, but sensitive and emotional. Frightened, and unaware of his own identity, the monster wanders through the wilderness. He finds brief solace beside a remote cottage inhabited by a family of peasants. Eavesdropping, the creature familiarizes himself with their lives and learns to speak, whereby he becomes eloquent, educated, and well-mannered. The creature eventually introduces himself to the family's blind father, who treats him with kindness. When the rest of the family returns, they drive him away. Hopeful but bewildered, the creature rescues a peasant girl from a river, but is shot in the shoulder by a man who claims her.
He swears revenge on Frankenstein for abandoning him to such intolerance, and accordingly kills Victor's younger brother William. When Frankenstein retreats to the mountains, the monster approaches him at the summit and pleads for a female equivalent to mitigate his loneliness. Frankenstein agrees, but, aghast at the possibility of creating a race of monsters, abandons the agreement. In response, the creature kills Frankenstein's best friend, and later kills Frankenstein's bride; whereupon Frankenstein's father dies of grief.
Searching for the creature in the Arctic Circle, the scientist falls into the freezing water, contracting severe pneumonia. A ship exploring the region encounters the dying Victor, who relates his story to the captain. Later, the creature boards the ship; but, upon finding his creator dead, is full of grief and pledges to incinerate himself at "the Northernmost extremity of the globe". He then departs, apparently never to be seen again.