09 February, 2010 11:47
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Frankenstein was dubbed the "Modern Prometheus" when Mary Shelley put it as the novel's subtitle in 1818. One would think that the Modern Prometheus title would apply to the monster Frankenstein, but it in fact applies to Dr. Frankenstein its creator.
Who was Prometheus? Prometheus was character in Greek Mythology who stole fire from Zeus in Mt. Olympus and gave it to man. He was punished and bound to rock while a great white eagle ate his liver every day as it would be regrown after being eaten. You can view more of the story here: http://www.authorama.com/old-greek-stories-5.html
Prometheus is seen as giving fire to man but also being the cause of disease and horror. He was the man who opened Pandora's box which oddly parallels Dr. Frankenstein's story. He created man and brought it to life using the dead. Instead of being honored or celebrated for doing the impossible, he is punished and tormented by the monster. Like Prometheus, he has to suffer from the consequences of bringing something that could only be imagined and hoped for.
This knowledge and action by Dr. Frankenstein create a downfall that was meant to be something great and causes the deaths of many people. Thus, he realizes that maybe bringing something to life wasn't a good idea.