Prometheus Bound Frankenstein Analysis

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From Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the issue of authority is a constant. From the direct use of Zeus as the main symbol of authority, to the use of a slightly more ambiguous authority figure: nature, authority, and the transgression of authority, is paramount in these works. Authority as an idea can seem more of an opaque image, given the guise of forced obedience, but when embodied by an idea such as nature, or a figure such as Zeus, authority takes a less nebulous form. The nature of authority can tend towards overpoweringly strict for such protagonists as Prometheus and Frankenstein, yet it is important to the function and flow of the world. Naturally, authority is a guiding force, keeping order; however, when …show more content…
In creating his monster, Victor Frankenstein goes against a fundamental law of nature, and his act does not go unpunished. Frankenstein experiences the loss of his best friend, his wife, and much of his sanity due to his creation. Authority in this novel is far more nuanced than in Prometheus Bound. Nature is the higher authority in Frankenstein, and the punishments for Frankenstein’s unnatural creation are less obviously doled out than those given to Prometheus. Instead of a figure telling Frankenstein what he has done wrong and then forcing him to suffer for it, nature forces him to realize his horrible mistake on his own and recognize the monstrous act he has committed. Frankenstein’s creation and his subsequent disconnect from nature represent his moving away from authority. As he becomes less connected with nature and the outside world, his own personal character develops a more reclusive attitude. “Winter, spring, and summer, passed away during my labours; but I did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves—sights which before always yielded me extreme delight, so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation” (35). Frankenstein strays from the natural authority of his life, and he suffers dearly because of it. His creation goes against natural law, and as he creates the monster, he begins to become more and more disconnected from the nature he used …show more content…
Although both ill-fated men infringe upon the rule of the higher power of their world, Frankenstein’s crime was deserving of punishment and Prometheus’ crime was not. Punishment for their insurgence comes in differing forms for each man. Prometheus is shackled to a cliff to later have a bird of prey eat his liver each day for thousands of years. In a far less obvious, but still merciless, fashion, Victor Frankenstein sees his life destroyed and his two closest friends murdered by a vessel of nature’s authority. The transgression of authority is important in cases such as that of Prometheus, yet it can cause universal discord as it did in Frankenstein’s case. Authority comes in numerous different forms from the physical (such as Zeus) to the metaphysical (such as nature itself), and when transgressed, authority will not discriminate in the punishment of the

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