Though long engraved into history, the ancient world of Greece still remains present throughout the cradle of humanity in several ways. It’s rich contributions in literature, drama and art have shaped even modern civilizations. Through the characters in the Greek myths, morals and standards that remain to dominate society are presented to us. These figures in mythology appeared as gods, goddesses, heroes, and even mortals, who teach not just through their triumphs but also through their less honorable moments. One of the most noble of these characters, was Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan (or elder god) who could often see into the future. He first enters mythological tales when he aided Zeus in the struggle to claim the throne of King of the Gods. Several later stories portray Prometheus’ character as intelligent, philanthropic, and non compliant when faced with injustices.
The great hero Hercules was brave and strong, but there was something he lacked. It is carefully noted along with his story that he was weak in the area of intelligence, his major disadvantage. This is a quality Prometheus possessed. Prometheus is labeled throughout mythology as being very wise. In some stories he is called the wisest in the universe. This is a feature not many other figures in mythology possessed. It was due to his wisdom that his family survived the great flood and humans received many of their advantages.
Prometheus is depicted as helping humans throughout Greek mythology. In one story, he consoles Io, a young girl punished due to Hera’s jealousy, during her time of pain and confusion. In this story he directs her to a more promising future. There is also strong emphasis on his assisting the human race as a whole. It was Prometheus who made mankind the superior race. He gave man both the superior protection, fire, and superior form, upright like the gods.
Zeus was angered when Prometheus gave man so many advantages, and also because he would not reveal whom the future told would dethrone him. Forgetting the debt he owed Prometheus for all he had helped him with in the past, he decided to torture Prometheus until he revealed the information he knew. Prometheus was bound to the rocky peak on Caucasus, wrapped in unbreakable chains, unable to sleep or relax. Everyday an eagle came down and tore at his flesh. Prometheus knew he had served Zeus well and was right in his assistance to man. He refused to yield to Zeus, and endured the pain. “His body was bound but his spirit was free.” He now remains a symbol of rebellion against injustice to many.
In summary, along with it’s culture and values, ancient Greece has left us more. It has left us great figures to look up to and admire. It has left us characters such as Prometheus to pave a road of morals and standards for the present as well as future. His qualities of wisdom, altruism, and strong will have been revealed through both his stories of triumphs and pain, stories that never die. These stories will be told for generations to come.