How did Athena help Prometheus to acquire fire?

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this myth Prometheus needed to gain access to the Chariot of the Sun, guarded in an underground vault at Mount Olympus, to be able to steal one of its embers and stealthily carry it back to mankind. Athena showed him a secret entrance so that he could sneak past the guards. Under cover of darkness, Prometheus stole inside this passageway, found the fiery Chariot, and lit his torch with its flames. He then blew the fire out, except for one glowing cinder which he placed inside a fennel stalk (so that it would not snuff out). Then he crept away, returned to Earth, where he rekindled the fire for Mankind.

Zeus was so angry at what Prometheus had done that he had him chained at the top of a mountain where an eagle would come and tear out his liver and eat it. As Prometheus, being immortal, could not die, his liver would regenerate overnight; but the process would be repeated the next day. And so Prometheus was condemned to interminable suffering.

Prometheus was only one of the "bad boys" punished for insurrection. His brother Atlas, also a Titan, was condemned to bear the weight of the world upon his shoulders.

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