Frankenstein: Giving Voice to the Monster

The possibility that artificial creatures, products of human hands, might achieve sentience and take on an active role in society is an age-old conception in world cultures, the subject of myths, stories, moral fables, and philosophical speculation.

In Greek mythology one finds the tale of Pygmalion who carves a statue named Galatea with whom he falls in love and who eventually comes to life.  In Jewish folklore there are stories of the Golem, an artificial creature animated with surprising results.  In Norse legends there are reports of clay giants able to move on their own accord.  An ancient Chinese text there describes the work of Yan Shi who in the 10th century B.C. crafted a humanoid figure with lifelike qualities.

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