Prologue: Geneva, 1775
A young orphan, Elizabeth Lavenza, is adopted into the Frankenstein household.
Scene 1: Geneva, 1788 – The Frankenstein Manor
Under the watchful eye of the Frankenstein’s housekeeper Madame Moritz and her daughter Justine, Victor is preparing to head to university to become a doctor like his father, Alphonse. As a parting gift, his father gives him a journal to fill with all his scientific ideas. His mother, Caroline Beaufort, pregnant with her second child, presents Victor with a locket bearing her portrait.
Over the years, Victor and Elizabeth’s affection for each other has grown and finally, before Victor leaves, they declare their love. Victor swears he will be back after his studies and that they will be married. They tell the family the joyous news, and amid the celebrations, Caroline collapses. Victor’s brother William is born. Caroline does not survive the birth, however.
Scene 2: The Frankenstein Cemetery
Stricken with grief at the loss of his mother, Victor says good-bye to Elizabeth and embarks on his journey to the university.
Scene 3: The Anatomy Theatre at Ingolstadt University
On Victor’s first day at his university, he meets Henry Clerval, a kind-hearted student who also aspires to become a doctor. Victor studies hard as his professor fills the students’ minds with ideas of the new scientific world such as galvanism, in which an electrical current can be applied to induce muscle contraction and, they theorized, even potentially create life from dead tissue.
Scene 4: The Tavern at Ingolstadt
After their, studies the students retire to the local tavern; Victor and Henry follow. Victor quickly tires of their revelry and goes back to the solitude of the classroom.
Scene 5: The Anatomy Theatre
While thinking about his mother and about life and death, Victor remembers his lessons on how it might be possible to reanimate dead matter. Fueled with passion and determination, Victor secretly works long into the night, notating every detail in his journal. Victor succeeds in creating a living being, his Creature. However, Victor’s ideals are ruined when he sees what he has created. The Creature is hideous, unable to function or communicate. Victor is horrified, and the vile monster—equally as scared—flees, taking Victor’s coat, which contains his journal. Henry returns to find Victor in despair and takes him home to Geneva.
Prologue: Victor’s Bedchamber in the Frankenstein Manor
Victor has fallen desperately ill, with nightmarish visions of what he has created. He is unable to tell Elizabeth, Henry, or Justine, who are nursing him back to health. The Creature, meanwhile, has followed him to Geneva.
Scene 1: Geneva, 1795 – Outside the Frankenstein Manor
Seven years have passed. William is outside learning from Justine, his nanny, on the night before his birthday. Alone with Victor, Elizabeth desperately begs him to tell her what is wrong. Without saying a word, Victor falls into her arms, and as night falls they quietly retire. The Creature comes out of the forest, seeking the acceptance and love of the father who created him and then abandoned him. He finds Victor’s journal and realizes how he came to be. Victor comes outside and is startled to see his journal. In a panic, he rips it to shreds to banish any memory of his actions. The Creature sees this and vows to have his revenge on Victor and his family.
On the morning of William’s birthday, preparations for a party are underway. As a present, Victor gives his mother’s locket to William. A game of blind man’s bluff ensues and William is left alone. The Creature comes out and, in an attempt to silence William’s screams, kills him. The Creature places the locket he has found on the child with Justine, who is then wrongly accused of murder.
The Creature confronts Victor for the first time. Admitting to killing William and incriminating Justine, he begs for Victor’s love and a companion for himself. Victor refuses. The Creature’s parting words are that he will be with Victor on his wedding night.
Scene 2: A Back Alley in Geneva
Justine is executed for William’s murder.
The Ballroom at the Frankenstein Manor
Victor and Elizabeth have just been married, and a ball is being held in their honor. Victor is still plagued with guilt and fear at the Creature’s warning. Victor and Elizabeth’s father is found dead. Panic ensues, leaving Henry and Elizabeth alone, waiting for Victor’s return. The Creature kills Henry and then turns his attention to Elizabeth, killing her in front of Victor. Distraught by all he has provoked, Victor takes his own life. The Creature cradles his creator and is soon lost in the flames.