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The Transcending Of Personality: Prometheus And Frankenstein; Lord Byron And Napoleon

699 words - 3 pages

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley exhibits an Eighteenth Century intellectual who travels into “the land of mist and snow” by assembling a creature of unimaginable size and granting it life. In the classical Greek myth Prometheus, written by Donna Rosenberg and Sorelle Baker, a powerful Titan creates mankind and provides it with fire, a gift stolen from Zeus. Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein’s character parallel each other across time. Victor Frankenstein and the Greek Titan Prometheus are very similar as seen by their attempt to help and advance mankind and the negative consequences they face as a result of their actions.
Both Victor Frankenstein and Prometheus strive to advance and progress mankind. Frankenstein travels to the city of Ingolstadt to study “the physical secrets of the world”. Frankenstein begins his quest into the unknown realm of creating life because of the “glory [that] would attend the discovery if [he] could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!” (Shelley 22). The only obstacle that man cannot overcome is death. All men are to eventually die. Frankenstein wishes to eliminate this obstacle which would allow the human to race to attend and achieve practically anything. Immortality would lead to undeniable superiority. While Frankenstein offers immortality to mankind Prometheus offers fire. Prometheus after creating mankind became horrified to discover “there [wasn’t] anything left for man” (Rosenberg and Sorelle 103) therefore “he taught them how with the gift of fire, mortals could use these treasures to improve and beautify their lives” (104). With fire man may become more than just another animal. Man with fire may become the masters of all life and the Earthly domain itself. The human race would also go beyond a level of subsistence and live comfortably with grand aspirations and accomplishments. Whether with immortality or fire, Frankenstein and Prometheus strive to make man a higher being of immense power and magnitude.
As a result of their attempts to advance mankind, Frankenstein and Prometheus alike suffer negative consequences. After Frankenstein completes his creation,...

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