Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus

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Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus
In Marry Shelly's book Frankenstein, she tells the story of a man named Victor Frankenstein. The character of Frankenstein contains traits that parallel Prometheus from Greek mythology. Through his actions and emotions Victor Frankenstein becomes the modern Prometheus by producing ill-fated actions that carry tragic consequences just as Prometheus' did. Prometheus was a figure in Greek mythology who created the conflict between mankind and the God's. Prometheus one day decided to steal fire from the sun and give it to the people for their advantage. Mankind then had the ability to create tools and weapons. Prometheus was then punished by the God's and was chained to a rock where he was visited by an eagle that ate from his liver. His liver would regenerate daily so that he never died. Prometheus also supposedly created and animated mankind from clay. He is often referred to as the "plasticator since he created man from clay." These two myths were combined to suggest that Prometheus stole the fire and fashioned mankind from clay. Frankenstein and Prometheus were similar in many ways. Their goal was set on good intentions but the means resulted in an undesirable conclusion. Frankenstein believed that his new species would bless him as their creator and source. Prometheus

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also insisted that he wished to save mankind by giving them gifts. The gift of fire he gave mankind was not only good but also evil. It was evil in that mankind now has a power he did not have before and that Prometheus was trying to play God. Frankenstein's ability to give life to inanimate objects was good, but it also resulted in evil. After Frankenstein gave life to his monster "...the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart (Shelley 35)." He is attempting to play God and created a species even when he cannot create his own parts. This is similar to Prometheus in that he steals fire from...
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