Prometheus is in Greek cult "the fire-bearing" Titan god by Sophocles. The fundamental notion about him is that he stole the fire from the gods for the benefit of mankind. Like the Norse Loki, he was a trickster as well as a fire-good and his intellectual side was emphasised by the apparent meaning of his name, "Freethinker".

    In Hesiod's "Works and Days" (700 B.C) his story is told to explain why men must toil for their living: the gods have "hidden livelihood" from men because Prometheus deceived Zeus. Zeus did not intend that men should have fire but Prometheus ("Foresight") stole it for them from Hellion anyway. In return Zeus had the women Pandora created and sent her down to Epimetheus ("Hindsight"), who, though warned by Prometheus, took her in and only afterward realised what woe he had brought upon mankind. Before this, men had lived free from evils and hard work and disease, but Pandora took the great lid off the jar and all these things threw out to wander among mankind. Hope alone stayed within. "The impossible is it to escape the will of Zeus".

    The context of this story makes it clear that in Hesiod's mind, Prometheus' theft of fire brought with it the working of metals meant weapons, and weapons meant violence and greed. Though Prometheus' gift brought civilisation, it was a "heroic" civilisation and Hesiod wanted no part of it. The figure of Pandora, with her jar full of evil and toil and disease, serves to express both the attractiveness and the ultimate hopelessness of civilisation. By sending Pandora "as the price of fire" the gods "hid livelihood". As Hesiod saw it, fire and civilisation had ended by blighting both men and nature.

    In the Hesiodic "Theogony" Prometheus himself is punished. Zeus bound him and set an eagle upon him to devour his immortal liver, constantly replenished. Later her permitted Heracles to kill the eagle, wishing to do his son honour. "Seeking to rival Zeus in counsel", Prometheus had tried to trick him into accepting the bones of sacrifices instead of the meat, which would then be left for men. Zeus saw through the trick, but chose the bones -which became his portion from then on- "because he meditated evil for men." Thereupon he withheld fire, Prometheus stole it, and Pandora was sent to men as in the earlier account, "a bad thing as the price of a good one." "So impossible is it to deceive or circumvent the will of Zeus. Not even the son of Iapetus, kindly Prometheus, escaped his anger, but under Necessity, wise though he is the mighty bonds restrain him."

    In this account the theft of fire is merely one example of foresight's doomed attempts to have the better of heaven, and Pandora is simply the first woman, expensive, hard to live either with or without, but bringing no jar of evil, toil and disease. The intent connection between the theft of fire and the coming of Pandora is gone -this poet has no quarrel with the technical advances-but all the same, in the bound Prometheus he has, with some help from the Odyssey, created the great image of human intelligence agonised and helpless in the grip of necessity which has fascinated many poets since.

    In working out this theme Aeschylus in "Prometheus Bound" makes Prometheus not only the bringer of fire and civilisation to men but also their preserver. Zeus had intended to destroy then and crate a new race, but Prometheus prevented this and gave men not only the means of survival but all the arts and sciences. For this Zeus has him chained to a crag in Scythia at the ends of the earth. But he knows what Zeus does not, the marriage which will cause Zeus' downfall, and he keeps the secret as the price of his release, though Zeus blasts him down to Tartarus at the end of the play. Though the rest of the trilogy is lost, we know that Prometheus was restored to the upper world still chained, this time which the eagle to torment him, that Heracles came and shot the eagle and that finally the prisoner was set free, with intelligence and never human hopes and the will of heaven reconciled at last.

    Hesiod and Aeschylus provide the basis for most of the many other treatments of Prometheus. When the gods created men and animals out of earth, according to Plato (Protagoras), Prometheus put into man fire stolen from Athena and Hephaestus to compensate for Epimetheus' having used up the simpler means of survival on the animals. This could account for the tradition, which seems to be later, that Prometheus created man.

    Gide, who called it "Prometheus bad chained", wrote another variation of the Prometheus myth. In that version the eagle is the image of passions, feelings which feed men. Prometheus became free thanks to eat the eagle, men must be harder than feelings.

    Finally, Prometheus became an immortal god because the deadly Quiron centaurs gave him his immortality.

    Aesquillus wrote Prometheus to create a new form of expression against the negations and no-authoritarian movement. Prometheus must be the no men respected image. The relationship between the Prometheus myth and the English novel Frankenstein is so huge that it is also called "The Modern Prometheus". The equality began when the dr. Frankenstein is presented as a lonely and rebel hero who wish get the creation secret going against the destiny of society and the life impositions. By the way, is evident the parallelism between both characters, whose go around the same objectives and proposes.

    However, they have some differences too. First, Prometheus knows the good consequences that his acts and his pride will have to mankind, but Frankenstein acts without stop thinking what could happen after. Second, Prometheus does not never mind of his acts but Frankenstein does. Finally, Prometheus always thinks about what he are going to do without acting in an impulsive way; Frankenstein is a impulsive person who is only guided by his obsession.