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Comparing The Greek Story Of Prometheus With Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2381 words - 10 pages

Stories have been told to all who will listen for thousands of years and they are passed down from one generation to the next effecting each in a different way. The ancient greeks used this technique and believed the story of a god named Prometheus and that he stole fire from the gods in Olympus and gave it to man. As a punishment for this action, Zeus causes him to be chained to a mountainside where he must suffer an eagle to eat out his heart, in some versions it is his liver, the organ will then regrow over night only to be eaten out again the next day. Prometheus never submits to the will of Zeus and instead screams profanities at him throughout his punishment never regretting the action he took that lead to such a terrible result. Mary Shelley was greatly affected by this story and turned it into her own horror story known throughout the world today as Frankenstein. The story has been changed with each new tale or movie director who has decided to add their own insight into Shelley’s original work. The original is a story of a man name Victor Frankenstein who wishes to create life and in the process he becomes an obsessed grave robber and eventually creates the life he sought to only to find the creature grotesque and frightening and it will eventually ruin his life. “Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is responsible for a creative transformation worthy of her prototypical mad scientist, Victor Frankenstein: she reconfigures, recontextualizes, and thus modernizes the myth of Prometheus by means of a ‘tiresome, unlucky ghost story.’ By focusing on the issues of paternal negligence and the need for responsible creativity implicit in what is perhaps the paradigmatic myth of the romantic movement, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus deconstructs the story of Prometheus as a masculinist narrative of patriarchal authority and (in)justice.”(Hustis) As stated Shelley’s Frankenstein can easily resemble to tale of Prometheus however, it has its own twists and turns and where Prometheus is seen as an advocate for mankind Victor Frankenstein is seen as a pathetic fallen character. Several aspects of the tale contribute to this line of thought namely he seeking to understand life, his creation of the monster, and his reaction to his own creation. Each of these form to opinion that Victor Frankenstein is not a hero but a fallen and depressed human figure.
Beginning with Victor Frankenstein’s longing to understand life and from where it originates he is already introduced as a somewhat self important character. Frankenstein, after his mother’s death leaves to better his education where he studies chemistry and eventually believing himself to understand more then his teachers and as such becomes bored with what they teach and takes up the concept of the possibility of creating life and understanding from were life generates not only in human beings but life of all creatures in general. He becomes fascinated and obsessed with studying the human body and...

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