Zeus then asked Prometheus to give him the part of a sacrificial ox that he deemed worthy for the gods, which would leave the rest for man. Prometheus tricked zeus into picking the most undesirable part of the ox, and in anger, zeus reclaimed the fire that man once possessed. Prometheus then stole the fire back, by lighting a torch from the sun. As punishment, zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock on the top of a mountain where an eagle fed on his liver, which regenerated daily. In the creation of man, there is an obvious comparison between Victor Frankenstein and Prometheus. It is the idea that both give life to inanimate materials.
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In following the pattern of a well-known Greek myth, with the addition of her own changes, Shelley makes it clear that Victor Frankenstein is more the usurper of divine power, as opposed to being an archetype of a promethean hero. That is why she uses modern in the subtitle. It is because of the difference between the modern values of Frankenstein and those of the Promethean myth that Mary Shelleys Frankenstein is subtitled The modern Prometheus. The ambiguity of the myth of Prometheus lies in its interpretation. The Greek myth surrounds the creation of man and the part Prometheus played. Prometheus (meaning forethought) and his brother, Epimetheus (meaning afterthought were given certain tasks by zeus after they fought on zeus side in the war with the titans. As a reward for their loyalty, zeus gave epimetheus the responsibility of creating the animals and distributing their qualities, for example, strength, speed, and stamina. Prometheus, on the other hand, was given the task of creating man. Prometheus molded man out of clay, giving them the ability to walk upright so that they could be closer to the heavens and the gods. Since Epimetheus was extremely rash in his dispersion of the traits and qualities to the animals, when it came time for Prometheus to give some to man, there were none left. So, prometheus gave man fire, and taught him how to grow food, and how to make objects, such as tools.
The parallels between the Promethean myth and Frankenstein short are obvious, and that, in combination with her subtitle, the modern Prometheus, indicates that Mary Shelley did have the myth in mind as she wrote the story. One perception of Prometheus actions views him as a hero: the creator of man, the giver of knowledge, one who is self-sacrificing for the good of others. Meanwhile, there is another perception of Prometheus actions, which is almost the complete opposite of Prometheus the hero. That is the view that Prometheus was more the usurper of their the gods' powers (Smith,. 1) than a hero. It is the two contrasting views of the Prometheus myth that makes its connection to Frankenstein so intriguing. Frankenstein also has a duality in how its story is perceived. Was Victor Frankenstein the archetype of the Promethean hero, or was he the usurper of divine power? Although there are direct parallels between Victor Frankensteins story and that of Prometheus, there are many differences that contribute to why Frankenstein was subtitled The modern Prometheus.
Greek tragedies: Volume. The University of hotel Chicago Press: Chicago, 1991. Grene,., and Lattimore,., eds. Prentice hall: New Jersey. Bibliography, references Consulted, grene,., and Lattimore,., eds. The modern Prometheus Essay, research Paper. Did Mary Shelley initially title her work about Victor Frankenstein and his creation The modern Prometheus solely because of the glaring similarities between their stories? That is a question that is often discussed, but a conclusion rarely arrives. One of the possible reasons for this could be because there are many different interpretations of the Promethean myth, which are mainly based on the ambiguous nature of the story.
They have power over most everything in a humans life, from weather to death. Humans usually recognize this and pay their respects to the gods. If a mortal does not give thanks and worship to the gods they can face a terrible doom, as seen in the plays by sophocles and Euripides. The higher beings sometimes punish humans for situations that they are not at fault for, and humans are forced to realize that they are under the mercy of the gods. As Prometheus bound demonstrated, the gods have power over each other as well. Euripides, aeschylus, and Sophocles have demonstrated that the gods possessed an all-encompassing power over the entire ancient Greek world and culture. References Consulted, grene,., and Lattimore,., eds. Antigone and Prometheus bound.
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Even though dionysus made cadmus face a miserable life, he eventually took pity and promised to send Cadmus to the book land of the blessed in death. This shows that most statement of the time, the gods were compassionate to mortals with integrity and fear of the higher powers. The gods also have power over each other. There is definitely a pecking order on mount Olympus, and it is very clear in Aeschylus Prometheus bound. Prometheus goes against zeus wishes and befriends the rudimentary race of humans. He is bound to a rock for centuries to be pecked at by a bird everyday.
In the play zeus is depicted as a villainous tyrant, but one with which the other gods give a great amount of respect and fear. Might describes zeus rule perfectly in a conversation to hephaestus when he remarks that There is nothing without discomfort except the overlordship of the gods. For only zeus is free (P.B. This shows the power zeus has over the other gods. The relationship between the Greek gods and the mortals is fairly well defined. Gods can help in a time of crisis, but only if they want to and see it fit to.
Most every god or goddess has power over a vital aspect of human survival, therefore putting humans at their mercy. Mortals that go against the gods inevitably end up in great dispair. In the tragedy, the bacchae, young king Pentheus, and his mother and aunts meet a miserable doom for disobeying and doubting the god dionysus. Pentheus mocked and refused to worship the new god, and remained stubborn and arrogant until he met death in the face. Punished mortals were many a time made an example of to the rest of the human world. Dionysus made petheus death an example by having his mother and aunts kill him and exploit his head for all the city to see.
His death also serves to punish his mother, semeles, sisters for not believing that zeus is the father of dionysus. Insanity possessed the women, and they unknowingly killed their own king. Their guilt would be an eternal punishment, along with banishment from the city. The gods always take terrible revenge on humans who wrong them. Sometimes, the gods take pity on humans for things that happen that are out of their control, but other times, the gods punish the mortals. In The bacchae, cadmus and his wife are sentenced to be serpents and roam the world for generations. Cadmus worshipped dionysus and tried to get Pentheus to so the same, but still ended up with a miserable fate. His daughters were banished, and his grandson and successor to the throne was violently murdered.
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The king cannot, and should not in the gods eyes, override her belief in the god. Mortals that hold state law over devine law in Greek myths always come to a dreadful doom, usually plan by being punished by the gods. The gods have power over the weather, which in turn rules over humans. Zeus, the king of all gods, rules over storms, thunder, and lightening. He and other gods can produce earthquakes, tornadoes, and other devastating natural disasters at any moment if they see fit. In Euripides The bacchae, zeus power creates a lightening bolt that burns down Semeles house and kills her. Zeus mere presence in the form of a god is enough to kill Semele.
Justice may not rule the gods as entirely as it rules mortals, because the gods ultimately decide what is just or unjust. Antigone also speaks of the power of Hades when she refers to her brothers. She tells Creon that Hades will apply equal laws to both, even though one is an enemy of Thebes. Antigone realizes that Thebes laws and enemies are not necessarily the laws and enemies of the gods. Creons regard for law the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs. He feels that all should obey the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, moral, or religions, state otherwise. Antigone, on the other hand, holds the beliefs of the gods in high reverence. She feels that the laws of the gods should be obeyed above all others, especially when in respect to family. Her beliefs in The sacred laws that heaven holds in honor are for more important than those set by the king (Antigone 78).
live on forever, not Creons mere proclamations of power. Antigone will not let her sister die with her because justice does not allow people to die heroes if the do not deserve. Order is more important than justice to Creon, and it is one of the causes of his eventual downfall. Zeus and the other sky gods like order and law. Antigone looks to the gods and goddesses of the earth that live in the underworld, and will not take a mere mortal mans rules over the gods. She says the she does not fear any mortals words enough that she would pay the price the gods demand from those who break their laws (Antigone, 458). The gods do recognize courageous and just people, but these people do not always come to a happy end, as in Antigones case.
For instance, in Sophocles tragedy, antigone, justice prevails over king Creons actions. He sentences his own niece to death for giving her deceased brother, a pronounced enemy of Thebes, a proper burial. In return for his rigid ruling he loses his wife and son to tragic deaths. Creon puts his own citys justice before the determined justice of the gods, and pays dearly for. Antigone also receives justice for her actions even though she dies. She did lab go against the law of her mortal king, but did obey the law of the gods, and therefore died a hero and martyr. The laws of the gods gives dishonor to those who do not properly respect their family members.
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The powers Above essay, research Paper. The powers Above, lana fourdyce, classic civilization 115: Section g, the powers Above. The relationship between gods and mortals in mythology has long been a complicated topic. The gods can be generous and supportive, and also devastating and destructive to any group of humans. Mortals must respect the powers above them that cannot be controlled. The gods rule over destiny, nature, and justice, and need to be recognized and worshipped for the powerful beings as they are. Regardless of ones actions, intentions, and thoughts, the gods in Greek myth have ultimate power and the final decision of justice house over nature, mortals, and even each other. Justice is a very important ruling power for both gods and mortals.