The myth of Prometheus – Iseult Gillespie

, , 100 Comments


Before the creation of humanity, the Greek gods won a great battle against
a race of giants called the Titans. Most Titans were destroyed or
driven to the eternal hell of Tartarus. But the Titan Prometheus,
whose name means foresight, persuaded his brother Epimetheus
to fight with him on the side of the gods. As thanks, Zeus entrusted the brothers with the task of creating
all living things. Epimetheus was to distribute the gifts
of the gods among the creatures. To some, he gave flight; to others, the ability
to move through water or race through grass. He gave the beasts glittering scales, soft fur, and sharp claws. Meanwhile, Prometheus shaped
the first humans out of mud. He formed them in the image of the gods, but Zeus decreed
they were too remain mortal and worship the inhabitants
of Mount Olympus from below. Zeus deemed humans subservient
creatures vulnerable to the elements and dependent on the gods for protection. However, Prometheus envisioned his crude
creations with a greater purpose. So when Zeus asked him to decide
how sacrifices would be made, the wily Prometheus planned a trick
that would give humans some advantage. He killed a bull and divided it
into two parts to present to Zeus. On one side, he concealed
the succulent flesh and skin under the unappealing belly of the animal. On the other, he hid the bones
under a thick layer of fat. When Zeus chose the seemingly
best portion for himself, he was outraged
at Prometheus’s deception. Fuming, Zeus forbade the use
of fire on Earth, whether to cook meat
or for any other purpose. But Prometheus refused to see
his creations denied this resource. And so, he scaled Mount Olympus
to steal fire from the workshop
of Hephaestus and Athena. He hid the flames in a hollow fennel stalk
and brought it safely down to the people. This gave them the power to harness
nature for their own benefit and ultimately dominate the natural order. With fire, humans could care
for themselves with food and warmth. But they could also forge weapons
and wage war. Prometheus’s flames acted as a catalyst
for the rapid progression of civilization. When Zeus looked down at this scene,
he realized what had happened. Prometheus had once again
wounded his pride and subverted his authority. Furious, Zeus imposed a brutal punishment. Prometheus was to be chained
to a cliff for eternity. Each day, he would be visited by a vulture
who would tear out his liver and each night his liver would grow back
to be attacked again in the morning. Although Prometheus remained
in perpetual agony, he never expressed regret
at his act of rebellion. His resilience in the face of oppression
made him a beloved figure in mythology. He was also celebrated for his mischievous
and inquisitive spirit, and for the knowledge, progress,
and power he brought to human hands. He’s also a recurring figure
in art and literature. In Percy Bysshe Shelley’s
lyrical drama “Prometheus Unbound,” the author imagines Prometheus
as a romantic hero who escapes and continues to spread
empathy and knowledge. Of his protagonist, Shelley wrote, “Prometheus is the type
of the highest perfection of moral and intellectual nature, impelled by the purest
and the truest motives to the best and noblest ends.” His wife Mary envisaged Prometheus
as a more cautionary figure and subtitled her novel
“Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus.” This suggests the damage of corrupting
the natural order and remains relevant
to the ethical questions surrounding science and technology today. As hero, rebel, or trickster, Prometheus remains a symbol of our
capacity to capture the powers of nature, and ultimately, he reminds us of the potential
of individual acts to ignite the world.

 

100 Responses

  1. FIDA KHAN

    November 30, 2019 9:10 am

    Hercules saved him because he was sorrow and this i found on a greek website and I love your channel : ) : )

    Reply
  2. Fabio_ Air

    December 1, 2019 9:01 pm

    There is something profoundly wrong in the final comment "Prometheus remains a symbol of our capacity to capture the powers of nature". This is a western, Judeo-Christinan misinterpretation of the whole Greek culture. Prometheus uttered: "Techne d’anangkes asthenestera makro" (v.514, Prometheus Bound), i.e.
    Technique is weaker by far than the necessity (of the Nature).
    Plato wrote (Laws, 905c): "O perverse man…. you failed to perceive that all partial generation is for the sake of the Whole, in order that for the life of the World-all blissful existence may be secured,—it NOT BEING GENERATED FOR THY SAKE BUT FOR ITS SAKE". In other words, in the Greek culture the Nature is that unchangeable background (not created by any man or god) to which human beings have to adjust in order to be right.
    Instead, in the opposite, modern (currently dominating) Judeo-Christian culture, the Nature was created by God and given as a gift to Adam. Genesis 1,26: "Then God said: Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
    It is NOT Prometheus which remains a symbol of our capacity to capture the powers of nature, but Adam!! Prometheus says quite the opposite: technique (thus "us") cannot dominate the Nature. Unfortunately, the Greek culture was defeated and we still believe that we can capture the powers of the nature (for our own sake)!

    Reply
  3. tamanna alam

    December 14, 2019 8:02 pm

    Wait this kind of doesn’t make sense i read a book and when Kronos killed his father his fathers blood made humans and other creatures idk this is kinda mixed my brain up

    Reply
  4. William Gray

    January 5, 2020 12:24 pm

    Well documented. 😊
    Prometheus was the bringer of light and there's similar stories in many native cultures of the first bringers of fire. These ancient stories links us all with the past and present. ✌

    Reply
  5. Shane Leskinen

    January 8, 2020 3:35 am

    Is it wrong to teach, to bring light to a dark world even if it means some would be blinded by its glory and the vision of some.

    Reply
  6. rum n coke

    January 15, 2020 2:10 am

    Prometheus = Lucifer . He provided knowledge to humans.
    provided man awareness and wisdom
    from the tree of life/ knowledge, going against god's laws and rules, his name is Lucifer

    Reply
  7. alkioni prevoli

    January 18, 2020 4:16 pm

    This is not how the myth went. If you think platon and/or protagoras are trustworthy sources that is.

    Reply
  8. cyberwolfy37

    January 19, 2020 2:57 am

    what make prometheus extra admirable is that he must've had the foresight to know what his fate would be if he defied zeus, yet he does it anyway because that's how much he care for humanity.

    Reply
  9. denello angelo

    January 19, 2020 1:22 pm

    Prometheus: climbs on top of a very giant mountain for only fire

    Minecraft players:you could have just get iron and flint

    Reply
  10. Michael Hobbs

    January 27, 2020 9:32 pm

    There I fixed the boring bible verse of John 3:16.
    Notice it’s much better now.

    “Prometheus so loved the world that he gave his only begotten fire, that who so ever uses it shall not perish from hunger, but have everlasting food”.

    Or some such.

    Hahahahahahaha
    Teehee
    Ya…Yaw…Yawp
    Lol

    Reply
  11. sochyvonn nora

    January 28, 2020 1:14 am

    If the god wants a cow, just give him a cow. We can eat other cows or even goats instead. Prometheus trys to help but end up putting humans in troubles and ultimately himself too. Dont be Prometheus.

    Reply
  12. wyb

    January 29, 2020 9:26 pm

    If it makes you feel better than press read more
    👇🏽

    Prometheus was free when chiron sacrifices himself for him

    Reply
  13. Мікалас Кaрыбутоў

    February 1, 2020 5:14 pm

    Later on Zeus learned that Prometheus knows a prophecy about god that will cause Zeus' downfall. Zeus was true prideful to bargain with imprisoned titan. So instead he make so Hercules passed by Prometheus' cliff during his twelve labours. And Hercules killed the eagle that ate Prometheus' liver and broke his chains. Zeus used this circumstance to retroactively forgive Prometheus, but titans imprisonment should continue symbolical: ring was made out of one of links of chains and Prometheus should wear it. Prometheus forgave Zeus and told him a prophecy: if Zeus conceives a child with nereid Thetis she will give birth to god that will overthrow him, if she marries are mortal king Peleus instead, the great hero will born. Thetis married Peleus and this is how Achilles was born.

    Reply
  14. ChBrahm

    February 2, 2020 6:28 pm

    And with fire, came disparity…
    Heat and Cold,
    Life and Death,
    And of course, Light and Dark

    Prometheus linked the First Flame

    Reply
  15. Roy Bocala

    February 3, 2020 9:13 pm

    I read different story. Like Prometheus introduces the fire to the humans. Not Zeus degrade humans to use fire.

    Reply
  16. Stardust201208

    February 4, 2020 6:06 am

    Gods: why aren’t my people prospering?
    Prometheus: because they’ve got no fire!!!!

    To those of you who get that reference and where the joke came from, kudos to you! 🤣

    Reply
  17. Charley River

    February 5, 2020 10:13 pm

    Prometheus is the fire of knowledge wisdom the inner christ inside of us I'm the light …. morning star

    Reply
  18. andresjohnbalcazar

    February 7, 2020 1:28 pm

    Prometheus punishment wasn't supposed to be because he didn't tell Zeus who of his human children will be the one to kill him?
    Since it was prophesied that like his grandfather was dethrone by his son, and his father was dethrone by Zeus, he will suffer the same fate by his children, but Prometheus didn't say who will be since he wanted to human to rule the world

    Reply

Leave a Reply