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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Passions Of Romantic Prometheus;When Ambition Takes Over...

1900 words - 8 pages

The very moment people had become conscious of their existence, they started wondering about their creator, and the creator of everything that surrounded them. Another matter that puzzled man was the duration of his dwelling on earth, and more importantly, how it could be prolonged. Not having any old scriptures explaining this, the ancient pagans found a way to approach this story - they chose to tell it themselves. Myths were told to give answers to all that had been, up to then, inexplicable. Some of those myths are used even today but in an altered way. They are often an inspiration for writers who choose to praise or criticize the gods. One of those myths is the Myth of Prometheus.After Earth had been made, mountains, valleys, woods, fields and plains were distributed, as well as stars, fishes, birds and beasts. Yet, another animal was wanted, a nobler one; man was made. This act was done by Prometheus, one of the Titans, who were a gigantic race who inhabited the Earth before the creation of man. He took some clay, knead it up and created a man in the image of gods. Unlike all other animals, man had been given an upright stature, so as to be able to gaze on the stars.Prometheus yearned to be adored by men. He gave them plenty of gifts, yet without the control of fire men were destined to remain mere animals. Zeus was in control of this most basic and natural form of energy and he was aware of the effects that that gift would have on man. Mortals would start considering themselves as equal to Gods, he believed, if they were given the source that would enable them to make weapons and tools. Nevertheless, Prometheus, having glory in mind, cunningly stole fire from the hearth of the Gods and brought it to Earth. Zeus severely punished him for his betrayal and ordered him to be chained to the top of Mt. Caucasus. He was bound with heavy chains, so heavy that even a God could not break himself free. A vulture tore out his liver and devoured it day after day. Each night, however, after enduring the great pain, Prometheus' liver grew back for the next day's punishment. He was thus condemned to be tortured for all eternity. Therefore, he has symbolized endurance, suffering and strength of will that resists oppression. As such, he has been a favourite subject to writers. One of them was Mary Shelley. She wrote her most famous book - " Frankenstein", having the Greek Titan in mind. We can be sure of this, when looking at the book's subtitle which is- "the Modern Prometheus". Inspired by the scientific development of that time, she wanted to show what ambition and crossing the limits of nature could lead to. She thus took Prometheus from Greek mythology and placed him in the modern society. When reading her book, we can see her attempt to explain how Prometheus would pursue his dreams in a modern age. Frankenstein is in fact the Prometheus of his own time. He has all the yearnings and traits of the original one. Their goal is the same, and they both do...

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