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Shelley uses 'the Modern Prometheus' as a subtitle to the novel. Explore the ways in which the idea of 'Modern Prometheus' is important in the novel.

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Introduction

Shelley uses 'the Modern Prometheus' as a subtitle to the novel. Explore the ways in which the idea of 'Modern Prometheus' is important in the novel. The idea of the 'Modern Prometheus' is important in the novel in many ways as Frankenstein is widely known as being the 'Modern Prometheus'. In having said this, Frankenstein is called the modern day Prometheus as he stole from God something that was not meant to be known by humans and "animated" his idea with science and modern day technology. Also, just like Prometheus, Frankenstein and mankind were punished for these actions. Prometheus caused Zeus to create Pandora who released all evil, disaster and illnesses to mankind, while Frankenstein would live with the guilt and regret of having made this "monster" and releasing it onto society and also for the death of many of his friends and family. One of the main ideas of calling the novel the "Modern Prometheus" is that it was Zeus's will that humans should not have the power to create fire, just as it is the belief of many that humans do not, or should not have the power to be the "creator" of life. ...read more.

Middle

By interrogating the aspects of joy, discovery and hope, which later on turned to become destructive and blinding, to the light imagery, and how it associates with fire and the myth of Prometheus, Shelley emphasize how the "glory" that "would attend [the] discovery" of forbidden knowledge, would eventually lead to the suffering of the ones who try and play God. Just like in Frankenstein's attempt to try and become the "creator" of "a new species that would praise" him as their "creator", and become a benefactor of mankind by trying to achieve what Prometheus did in the classical mythology. Frankenstein is "The Modern Prometheus" as he usurps the authority that was to be in the hands of the gods. Prometheus presented a divine gift to man which was fire. Frankenstein gave his creation a divine gift which was life. The term "modern" acknowledges that Prometheus is from ancient, classical mythology and that his creations and knowledge were all of a natural sense, whereas Frankenstein combined the ideas of Prometheus with science and technology in order to create life. When Mary Shelley wrote the novel in 1816 and the industrial revolution was a part of Shelley's period of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

The endings were also different. Frankenstein died, along with his creation. Prometheus and his both lived, albeit after much anguish. Well Frankenstein is Victor, not the monster (he is never given a name) so the : title of Prometheus can infer that he created or made life like Prometheus did. : : Both Frankenstein and Prometheus are alike in many aspects; firstly both of them rebelled against the highest authority figures of their societies, Prometheus's being Zeus, and Frankenstein's being God. Secondly, both were creators of "a new species", Prometheus made mankind out of clay, while victor Frankenstein "animated...lifeless matter" using the technologies of galvanism. And thirdly, both Prometheus and Frankenstein introduced forbidden knowledge to mankind. As a result of "penetrating "the "unknown powers" that were meant to be kept as the "deepest mysteries" to mankind, both were punished. One interpretation from the novel of which the idea of the 'Modern Prometheus is used', is the idea being that if one defies "the heavens" in order to introduce forbidden knowledge to mankind, it would only lead to the "utter destruction" of the one who attempted to do so and eventually "destroy all that [they] held dear" to, as part of the punishment. ...read more.

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