Prometheus in European Literature

(2443 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Among the popular figures of Greek mythology none became more prominent and influential in Western thought, literature, and the arts than Prometheus (“Forethought”), one of the Titans who between antiquity and modernity acquired many facets of interpretation. Early on he emerged as a trickster who fooled Zeus with sub-standard offerings, then as a transgressor against God’s order not to bring fire to man. In later centuries, Prometheus’ positive assessment took a firm hold: the creator and benefactor of man turned into a champion of autonomy and freedom in diverse fields of endeavor, in religious affairs, politics, and creativity. Sometimes he mirrors revolutionary change, at other times he reflects the situation and mood of …

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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Prometheus in European Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2010
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences