The Prometheus Connection In Robin Waterfield’s myth, ” Hope For Humankind”, Waterfield writes how, the gods and goddesses were so bored and needed amusement and entertainment, that they decided to create creatures, each one having a unique power. Epimetheus created animals as well as humans.
Prometheus worried about humans surviving, he grants them knowledge and even persuades Zeus to gift them fire and in return, they would have to give a sacrifice. Everything is well on earth until Zeus confiscates fire because of Prometheus stealthy trick with the humans’ sacrifice of a cow. Prometheus doesn’t let Zeus take fire away from the humans and steals it. In the end, for the theft of fire, Zeus punished Prometheus, but men suffered as well. In the myth of Prometheus, Prometheus brought fire to the humans, and of course, fire is both useful and destructive.
In the myth, it is stated, “at any rate, fire would be the foundation of a civilized and communal life, which would protect them from other creatures” (Waterfield 14). Because of fire, the humans would be able to cook their food, stay warm, and also to protect themselves in any way they could. This is somewhat related to Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, because in the novel, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein developed a way to artificially create humans which can be both useful to bring loved ones back to life and destructive to create a murderer. In chapter 8 of the novel, Victor Frankenstein sits thinking about how his creation would be the cause of another loved ones death, Justine Moritz. He states, ” it would be decided, whether the result of my curiosity and lawless devices would cause the death of my fellow-beings; one a smiling babe full of innocence and joy; the other far more dreadfully murdered” (Shelley 83) Not only did Victor’s creation murder his little brother, it will also be the death of another loved one due to false accusations from the townspeople, who don’t know of Victor’s horrible creation yet.
It is evident that Mary Shelley gave this particular subtitle because in both stories, someone or something is created or granted that has both useful and destructive properties. Just like the end of the myth of Prometheus, The novel Frankenstein, will most likely end the same way. In the myth, Zeus extremely infuriated by Prometheus, punishes him greatly for his actions as well as humans. It is stated that, “for the theft of fire, Zeus punished Prometheus, but men suffered as well” (Waterfield 17). In the novel, we can expect that Victor will be punished as well for creating the monster and being irresponsible and abandoning it, letting it free into the real world leading to events such as the murder of his little brother and the death of another loved one convicted guilty in court for a murder she did not commint. And as for the monster himself, he will be punished too, for causing chaos and killing people.
In both the myth and the novel, people will be punished for their actions in the end.