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Prometheus and Frankenstein
Transcript of Prometheus and Frankenstein
Matthew St. Louis
Date: December 4th 2014
Summary of the Prometheus myth
Facts about the Prometheus myth
• Prometheus was the wisest Titan and was known as the protector and benefactor of man.
• He gave mankind a number of gifts including fire.
• He also tricked Zeus into allowing man to keep the best part of the animals sacrificed to the gods and to give the gods the worst parts.
• Zeus punished Prometheus for stealing fire by having him chained to a rock with an eagle tearing at his liver.
• He was to be left there for all eternity
• He was eventually rescued by Hercules without giving in to Zeus.
The pandora myth
• Zeus decides to create a woman
• Hephaestus mixes some earth and water together to create the first woman, who is named Pandora.
• Lots of gods have a hand in making Pandora, each giving her a "gift"
• Zeus also gives Pandora a jar full of every kind of bad thing imaginable and warns her never to open it.
• All these so-called gifts are how Pandora got her name: it means "all endowed" or "all gifted."
• Zeus has Hermes take Pandora down to Epimetheus, Prometheus's brother, to offer her as a bride.
• Prometheus had warned Epimetheus to not take any presents from Zeus, but Epimetheus accepts Pandora anyway, fearing that if he doesn't, Zeus will do something bad to mankind.
• Eventually, Pandora gets curious about the mysterious jar that Zeus gave her.
• She opens it, and every terrible thing you could possibly imagine streaks out of the jar and goes off to plague all of humanity.
• But not all hope is lost. Literally: the only thing that remains in the jar is Hope
The myth of Prometheus is about a man who steals fire from Zeus and gives it to man giving both knowledge and hope to all mankind. Now that man has fire, he can evolve into a much stronger human by being to create things for himself such as tools. He also gave the humans hope because now they have something to strive for. Without fire you could freeze, you could not be able to cook food, and you could not have any means of purifying water. fire is the essential to survival, the symbol of hope.
PROMETHEUS VS. ADAM AND EVE
The Prometheus myth can easily be mirrored to the story of Adam and Eve.
God created a garden and put adam and eve there. they were in charge of naming the animals and plants.
Zeus gave Prometheus the task of givng the animals talents
FRUIT AND FIRE
God placed a tree in the garden which bared the “forbidden fruit".
In the garden there was also a snake that was a representation of Satan. His goal was to convince Adam and Eve to eat the fruit and disobey the direct orders of God,
“...you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (Genesis 3:3)
Adam and Eve deliberately disobey Him and eat the fruit causing them both to be so filled with knowledge.
In the same way, Zeus does not want man to have fire. Which was considered to be reserved for the Gods.
THE MONSTER AND ADAM
The monster seems to be more like Adam than Satan. Victor creates the monster together “in his own image” and casts him into the world to fend for himself. The monster must survive with the world he now encounters. After the monster becomes guilty of “bad behavior,” Frankenstein separates himself from the monster; but does not abandon him. similar to Adam’s banishment from the Garden of Eden. God banishes adam and eve from the garden but he never abandons them, the monster is cast out into the unforgiving wilderness to fend for himself.
How does prometheus relate to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and what parallels can be seen between the two?
Fire paralleled between Prometheus giving it to man, and the fire the creature acquires in life. Possibly Victor Frankenstein and lightning
page 26 & page 92*
Prometheus and victor are the creators, who oppositely nurture and abandon their creations.
De lacey family serves as the Prometheus to the monster, teaching him and giving him insight to the world.
Pandora and the monsters unfinished companion destroyed. (Victor destroys the female creature, opening Pandora’s Box, releasing the monsters rage upon him)
Thanks for listening!!!!
-Titan Prometheus had a reputation as being something of a clever trickster
-He was one of the ringleaders of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods led by Zeus to gain control of the heavens
-Prometheus did, however, switch sides and support the victorious Olympians when the Titans would not follow his advice to use trickery in the battle.
-Prometheus was said to always think of the future, while his brother, Epimetheus, always thought of the past.
The creation of man
-Prometheus was in charge of creating the humans, and Epimetheus was in charge of creating beasts
-In some traditions, Prometheus made the first man from clay, whilst in others, the gods made all creatures on Earth, and Epimetheus and Prometheus were given the task of endowing them with gifts so that they might survive and prosper.
-Epimetheus liberally spread around such gifts as fur and wings but by the time he got around to man; he had run out of gifts.
-After men were made, Prometheus decided to dwell on earth with man. He quickly noticed that they were no longer happy as they had been during the golden days, when Kronos, the titan, was king.
after man was created
"If they only had fire, they could at least warm themselves and cook their food; and after a while they could learn to make tools and build themselves houses. Without fire, they are worse off than the beasts."
"I will not give them fire!" yelled zues
When prometheus reached home, he called some of the shivering people from their caves and built a fire for them, and showed them how to warm themselves by it and use it to cook their food. Men and women gathered round the fire and were warm and happy, and thankful to Prometheus for the wonderful gift which he had brought to them.
-In a slightly different version of the story, mankind already had fire, and when Prometheus tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and fat instead of the best meat during a meal at Mt. Olympus, Zeus, in anger, took away fire so that man would have to eat his meat raw
-This also explained why, in animal sacrifices, the Greeks always dedicated the bones and fat to the gods and ate the meat themselves.
Alternate version of the story
Zeus was mad at the humans, so he gave them the gift of a woman.
Her name was Pandora. She was given a box by Zeus that was never to be opened, but her curiosity came over her, and as she opened it, out came all kinds of evils, sorrows, plagues, and misfortunes. Only one thing remained in that box; Hope.
-Zeus was outraged and punished the titan Prometheus by taking him to Caucasus, chaining him to a rock with unbreakable chains, and having an eagle eat his liver every day, and every night having it regrow so it can be eaten again.
-He said there was only one way that he could get out, and that was to tell Zeus of the prophecy that told of the dethroning of Zeus one day. Prometheus refused, so he would be forever chained to that rock.
How Pandora Relates to the myth of Prometheus
Comparisons Between The Novel And The Myth
Prometheus is released from his agony in the end while victor is forced to only face death
The Creators were punished for their opposition of the natural order of the world around them.
Monster is forced to acquire fire by his own, while Prometheus bestows fire upon man
The Creature in his rage and abandonment takes control of his creator while Prometheus is saved by his creation from the endless torture given by Zeus.
The Destruction of the second monster, is related to the opening of Pandora’s box in the myth of Prometheus, where great evils are released upon the world