Who is Prometheus?

Essay by MLarsen1University, Bachelor's January 2003

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Prometheus, which means Forethought, was the son of Titan Iapetus and the ocean-nymph Clymene. Prometheus was sacrificed to the gods after they took-over the Titans. He and his brother, Epimetheus, which means Afterthought, where spared because they did not stand with their fellow Titans during the war with the Olympians. It is said that Prometheus was a god before Zeus ever took over his Throne of Eternity. Prometheus had no Roman name, only a Greek name, Prometheus. He was one of the few gods that only had a Greek name and no one knows why.

Prometheus and his brother were giving the tasks of creating man. Epimetheus was responsible for making the animals and Prometheus creating man. Epimetheus was giving all the power to give all the animals and man uniqueness such as speed, strength, wings, claws, fur, and shells to cover the inner bodies. Prometheus created and molded man from clay and Athena blew life into the figures.

Epimetheus used all the gifts on the animals leaving nothing left for man. Epimetheus asked Prometheus for help, so Prometheus made man stand upright like the gods. This unfortunately was not enough to fend off the animals. Zeus despised man and wanted them to die off. Zeus felt if man had gifts and knowledge, it would only bring misery to the mortals and Zeus asked Prometheus not to interfere.

Prometheus could not stand to watch man suffer so Prometheus asked Zeus if he could take some of the sacred fire for his creatures. Zeus refused and said that fire was only for the god. In retaliation to Zeus' refusal, during the night, while all the gods were asleep, Prometheus made his way around the slumbering Zeus. He then made his way to the hearth of the gods, and grabbed the fire.