Saturday, August 23, 2008
"The Modern Prometheus"--Subtitle
The subtitle Shelley gave Frankenstein was The Modern Prometheus. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the son of the Greek Titan Iapetus. Because Prometheus did not like Zeus, ruler of all the Gods, Prometheus stole fire and gave it to the mortals now living on Earth. When Zeus discovered that Prometheus had deceived him, he chained Prometheus to a rock and condemned him to an eternity of having his liver eaten out by a huge bird only to have the organ grow back each day to be eaten out again. Fire is often looked on as a symbol of life and it can be reasoned that Shelley used the allusion to Prometheus in reference to Frankenstein essentially stealing the spark of life from “the Gods” and giving it to his creation.
Credits: Stewart, Michael. "Prometheus", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. http://messagenet.com/myths/bios/promethe.html (November 14, 2005)