9780415324069

Prometheus

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  • ISBN13:

    9780415324069

  • ISBN10:

    0415324068

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2006-01-13
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

Myths and legends of this rebellious god, who defied Zeus to steal fire for mankind, thrive in art and literature from ancient Greece to the present day. Prometheus' gifts to mortals of the raw materials of culture and technological advancement, along with the curse of despair that followed the enlightenment of humankind, have formed the basis of a poetic and powerful embodiment of the human condition. Seeking to locate the nature of this compelling tale's continuing relevance throughout history, Carol Dougherty traces a history of the myth from its origins in ancient Greece to its resurgence in the works of the Romantic age and beyond. A Prometheus emerges that was a rebel against Zeus's tyranny to Aeschylus, a defender of political and artistic integrity to Shelley and a symbol of technological innovation during the industrial revolution, his resilience and adaptability illuminating his power and importance in Western culture. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the Prometheus myth,emphasizing the vitality and flexibility of his myth in a variety of historical, literary, and artistic contexts of the ancient Greeks, the Romantics, and twentieth-century English poet, Tony Harrison. It is an essential introduction to the Promethean myth for readers interested in Classics, the arts and literature alike.

Author Biography

Carol Dougherty is Professor of Classical Studies at Wellesley College.

Table of Contents

Series foreword xi
Acknowledgements xv
List of illustrations xvii
Genealogical table xix
WHY PROMETHEUS?
INTRODUCING PROMETHEUS
3(22)
Who is Prometheus?
4(6)
Classic texts: the wellspring of myths
10(1)
What is myth?
11(2)
Why are myths so important?
13(2)
The myth of Prometheus
15(3)
Promethean themes: fire, rebellion, creativity, and work
18(2)
Prometheus and the human condition
20(1)
Survey of scholarship and overview of the book
21(4)
KEY THEMES 25(64)
1 THE TRICKSTER: HESIOD'S PROMETHEUS
27(19)
Hesiod and his times
28(2)
Hesiod's Prometheus
30(1)
Prometheus vs Zeus: a battle of wits
31(2)
Prometheus as trickster
33(2)
Prometheus and the human condition
35(9)
Overview
44(2)
2 THE CULT OF PROMETHEUS AT ATHENS
46(19)
Fire in Greek culture
47(2)
Prometheus in Athenian myth
49(1)
Prometheus in cult
50(3)
Torch race
53(3)
Prometheus, satyrs, and fire
56(5)
Prometheus, fire, and fifth-century Athens
61(3)
Overview
64(1)
3 POLITICAL REBEL AND CULTURAL HERO: PROMETHEUS IN ATHENIAN LITERATURE
65(24)
Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound
66(5)
From trickster to rebel
71(2)
From hope to prophecy
73(2)
Prometheus and progress
75(3)
Plato's Protagoras
78(6)
The comic Prometheus
84(2)
Overview
86(3)
PROMETHEUS AFTERWARDS 89(53)
4 THE ROMANTIC PROMETHEUS 9I
Goethe's Prometheus and artistic creativity
92(4)
The political Prometheus
96(4)
Shelley's Prometheus Unbound and the power of love
100(4)
Prometheus and Napoleon
104(4)
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
108(7)
Overview
115(1)
5 PROMETHEUS IN THE CONTEMPORARY AGE
116(26)
Prometheus in the arts
117(2)
The most Promethean of the Prometheans: breakthroughs in science and technology
119(4)
The ambiguous Promethean legacy
123(1)
Tony Harrison's Prometheus
124(3)
The technological Prometheus
127(4)
Prometheus and the worker: homo faber
131(5)
Fire and poetry
136(3)
Etymologies: what use is Prometheus?
139(1)
Overview
140(2)
Further reading 142(5)
Works cited 147(6)
Index 153

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