The etymology of the word Monster reveals but one rather simple definition. According to Cohen, monster “derives from the Latin monstrum, a divine portent, usually of misfortune. Augustine [ … ] thought the Latin noun to stem from monstrare, ’to show’ ; Isidore of Seville [ … ] glossed monstrum as contra naturam and connected it to monere, ’to warn”’ (“Use” 48). Classicist Catherine Atherton slightly expands on monstrum, noting that “one of the traditional roles played by monsters-as the standard etymology of the Latin monstrum indicates-is to signal or presage event or advent, even more terrifying or violently destructive than the monster itself’ (vii). Thus, the monster is that which demonstrates or warns that something has gone-or is going to go-awry.
~ Monsters We Become: The Development of the Inhuman Narrative Voice.
The scene in which Nathanael heard his Father call him a Monster and an AU What If? Scene in which Nathanael confronts his Mother about his Father calling him a Monster.
"Yet something has to be done."
Leaning against his parent's door, Nathanael's ear is pressed against it to hear better the conversation taking place within.
"The council is becoming restless; politics are keeping us away more often. Who will care for him?"
"Thom is here, he will do his duty as his husband to look after him, it cannot be helped we are away so much Elaina."
"Yes with Thom he will be alright but...Can-," a moment's silence, "Can we really trust him around Drefan? What if Drefan hurts him again? I do not know if he would tell us." My mother’s voice held soft doubt.
"What could you possibly mean; he would, of course, tell us if he was in pain. Have we ever given him a reason not to believe he could?"
"Nay of course not but this is something else entirely. Earlier when I was cleaning his wounds I found a cut down his left arm, a cut that could only have been self-inflicted. His other wounds were nothing like this from Drefan."
"Our son is a cutter? Nathanael knows that he will lose the light of his spirit to such...perverse practices. He must realize without the light of soul he is only a shell, a..a Monster."
"You..heard Peter say that?" Elaina whispers to her only child, her hands reaching out toward the nine-year-old.
There is only silence as Nathanael's eyes fall to the floor.
The Queen gathers the boy into her embrace, "Sometimes those we love say things because they are afraid."
The Prince's eyes are filled with tears at his own anger, willing himself to banish the vile emotions he was taught he should not feel. He looks up to his mother trying to hide how upset he was,"What have I done? I hurt no-no one but me! He's my father, he shouldn't be afraid of me!"
"He's not afraid of you Nathanael, he's afraid for you."
As though that simple difference made the pain any less deep.
As Cawson, Andriano, and Cohen note, acknowledgement of the monster is a necessary step in human development because in all ways it is human... Thus, a society must transcend the limitations of the past by discovering ways to include the unique until, ultimately, everything that is inherently human can be acknowledged and incorporated, including those aspects we often attribute to the monstrous in a misdirected attempt to exorcise ourselves of sin and imperfection. Monsters are the way to this transcendence.~ Monsters We Become: The Development of the Inhuman Narrative Voice.