Comparison of Prometheus and the Serpent of Genesis

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The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, and Prometheus in Theogony have many similarities. In particular, the role of the serpent and role of Prometheus complement each other. The serpent and Prometheus are both portrayed as sly-talking tricksters that reveal immortal knowledge to the humans of earth, and they are both punished for their actions. In both stories, Prometheus and the serpent are conniving characters that rebel against the higher authority figure. In Genesis the serpent is introduced as, “more crafty than any wild creature that the Lord God had made…[the serpent] said to the women, ‘is it true that God has forbidden you to eat any tree in the garden?’’ (Genesis, 3). The serpent later uses his craftiness to fool the…show more content…
Prometheus also gives knowledge to mankind, but reveals it in a more direct way than the serpent. Prometheus steals fire from Zeus, then takes the fire to earth and bestows the knowledge on mankind (Nelson, 45). When Prometheus deceives Zeus and gives fire to mankind, he releases the wrath of Zeus upon mankind and himself. Zeus punishes Prometheus by binding him with “inescapable harsh bonds… he inflicted on him a long-winged eagle, which ate his immortal liver; but grew as much in all at night as the long-winged bird would eat all day” (Nelson, 43, 521-525). God’s punishment of the serpent does not seem as violent as Prometheus’s punishment, but they are both harsh. God also uses nature when punishing the serpent, like Zeus controlled the eagle. “Then the Lord God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this you are accursed more than all cattle and all wild creatures. On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life…They [mankind] shall strike at your head’” (Genesis, 3). The serpent and Prometheus are punished for eternity for rebelling against their authority. Throughout both stories, the roles that the serpent and Prometheus play parallel each other. They both are presented as crooked characters from the outset. Both reveal knowledge to humans that the corresponding authority figures did not want the humans to have. The serpent and Prometheus’s
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