Monster is an imaginary creature that is very large, ugly, and frightening a monster with three heads prehistoric monsters. — Oxford Collocations Dictionary.
Monsters of History
The definition of the word monster is one we attribute to many subjects. Moreover, we can call a person a monster for their actions, responses, or appearance. Ultimately, a monster could be in the eyes of the beholder.
What each of us finds individually attractive doesn’t mean it pleases the masses. What was beautiful in the Renaissance might not be so today. However, have the word monster lose its meaning over time?
When one thinks about a monster, does he see the shape of a human male, female, or a being of the paranormal dimension? The word itself, subjective to one’s thought, might be more than we think.
A Monster Origin
When it comes down to the etymology of the word, ‘monster’ from moneo meaning, ‘warn.’ The word monster comes from late Middle English, borrowed from French, ‘monstre.’ As a result, the French people adapted it from its Latin origin, ‘monstrum.’
Monsters have a heritage in their history. Either it is from religion or mythology, monsters possess an origin of their own. As an example, the Greeks and Romans saw monsters as divine displeasure. Consequently, they perceived congenital disabilities or malformations as ominous.
In Ancient Rome, monsters were not always an abomination. A bird’s ability to fly was to some monstrous. Of course, we wonder why back then they would think such a thing. Their logic was that it went against nature. However, it reminds us how far we have come.
The negativity associated with the word monster coincides with philosophical meanings. The word is representative of horrific sightings. Just as well, it can be of unknown origin to the witness.
There are ‘monsters’ in mythologies such as Medusa who are a representation of delicate beauty. Her status in Greek mythology is so that the line between monster and divine is thin. Another way to see it is that maybe it was their representation of beauty and power could result in corruption.
The Monsters of Fiction
When speaking of monsters, we all have our favorites. It goes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster to Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. The classics of all time vampires, reanimated body parts, zombies, mummies, witches, and blobs.
It is needless to say that our monsters of today come from the inspiration of earlier writings and findings. While we made mummies monsters, in Ancient Egypt, the process was nothing but monstrous. The unknown is what often determines our reaction to the sighting or revelation.
When it comes to witches, their overall look often depicted as ugly with big noses and flying on a broom is far from the truth. Because the Clergy wanted people to despise witches, changing their appearance to one that is monstrous, encouraged people to hate them based on false appearances.
Zombies are part of great intriguing folklores. Mostly from African origins, brought to America through dark times of history, the Voodoo religion took a turn in the Southern States and picked the curiosity of anthropologists and botanists. As a result, investigations rose the possibility of the zombified powder African Voodoo could produce.
However, when it comes to vampires, their origin goes back millennia in humankind’s history. Their existence is almost part of every country, mythology, and folklore in the world. It is quite impressive and raises many questions. Because of its ever-growing popularity, vampires are part of many genres and subgenres of fiction.
Once A Monster
Despite some creatures seen as beautiful, they do remain in the monster category despite their best effort. There are more human monsters than there is furry moon changing beings.
Furthermore, if you look at our history, monsters are those who conquer instead of exploring. As far as I know, no mummies crossed the Atlantic to settle in Florida. Monsters are subjective, and their history only the more fascinating.