It's from a play based on Mary Shelley's novel. What does "if the children breed with the children" mean?

Victor: I don’t know. I have travelled where no man has travelled. I wonder how far I can go. I can create people, Will! Living people! Look at me, I breathe the breath of God!

William: And will they reproduce?

Victor: What?

William: Will they have wombs, the females? Will they breed? How quickly will they breed? How fast is the cycle? How many in a litter? Fifty? A hundred? A thousand?

Victor: William?

William: And if the children breed with the children? Will they do your bidding?

Victor: What are you saying?

William: You are their king – will they do as you tell them? Or will they be bad? Like the one who killed me?

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming this is based of Shelly's novel "Frankenstein."

Victor is gloating about how he can create living people. William is trying to get Victor to think about the consequences.

First, Victor asks William about his creations themselves. Will those creations- be able to reproduce and have children?

He then asks "And if the children breed with the children?"

Not only might the creations have children, but those children might have their own children.

"To breed" means to have offspring, to reproduce and have children.

It's usually used when referring to animals. We don't say people "breed" but we do "breed" horses etc.

Here it has the connotation that these creations are animal-like and they might be reproducing without limit.

That's whayt William wants Victor to think about. Yes, Victor may be able to create living creatures.

But those creatures may breed- have offspring- in an out of control way, and he needs to be prepared for it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .