Essay about The Myth of Prometheus in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Knowledge is a distinctively human virtue. After all, if not for the want of human beings to learn of and master our habitat, would we not still be counted among the beasts? For all of the good that knowledge brings to us, however, knowledge can just as easily bring pain. We discover new types of medicine to extend our lives, but that is balanced by our awareness of our mortality. We find new advances in technology with which to bring convenience into our lives, but those advances are countered by the resulting pollutions that are poisoning our world. These conflicting aspects of knowledge and its consequences were first discussed thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks. The Titan Prometheus bestowed upon mankind the…show more content…
There are other views of Prometheus as well. Susan Tyler Hitchcock, in
Frankenstein: A Cultural History, summarizes that Prometheus is “a savior who brought not just fire but language, tool making, …medicine—all the arts and sciences—to humankind” (52). M.K. Joseph asserts that Prometheus becomes both “a representation of the creative power of God” as well as “an accepted image of the creative artist” (43). It is also worth noting that in the earlier versions of the Prometheus myth, after Prometheus’ transgression against the king of Gods, a vengeful Zeus sends
Pandora into the world to bring to mankind “grief, cares, and all evil” (Shattuck 15).
Roger Shattuck then notes that “[t]he most famous literary treatments of the
Prometheus myth…leave out Pandora as an awkward appendage or complication” and in doing so the later authors of works about Prometheus “avoid dealing with the full consequences to humankind of the knowledge Prometheus brings as narrated in
Hesiod’s earliest versions” of the myth (15). This aspect of the gift of knowledge, the unforeseen consequences, is something that Mary Shelley explores in Frankenstein.
Also, as a sidebar, it would be interesting to know Mary Shelley’s opinion as a feminist regarding the concept of Pandora (read—women) being the cause of all of man’s woes.

There is a school of thought that suggests that this
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