PrometheusWhat would the relationship between Prometheus and Zeus be? Based on some research, I know that Prometheus disobeyed and tricked Zeus to help 'man'; his creation. Later Prometheus was...

Prometheus

What would the relationship between Prometheus and Zeus be? Based on some research, I know that Prometheus disobeyed and tricked Zeus to help 'man'; his creation. Later Prometheus was punished, tied up to a rock and left to suffer day by day while a vulture ate his liver. Of course, Prometheus was immortal so he could not die, but wouldnt Zeus have sympathy due to them being related?

Asked on by jam121

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In terms of "relationship," I would look at this more as to how they got along rather than how they were "related." There seems to be no connection in terms of Zeus being Prometheus' father, etc. (though it would seem that Zeus really got around).

The connection is more that Prometheus gave humans fire (stealing it from Zeus) because he felt sorry for them. This way they could have light after dark, be warm and cook their food. However, it was seen as an affront to the gods, for once mankind had fire, they were less dependent upon the gods...perhaps even more god-like themselves...or so the story goes.

And so Prometheus was punished, chained to a rock so that an eagle was able to eat his liver each night. The next day, the eagle was back and so was Prometheus' liver. The theme of repeated punishment is not isolated to this story. Eventually, Hercules rescues Prometheus.

The only connection between Prometheus and Zeus is that Zeus is furious when Prometheus helps mankind in giving him fire.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think they were related either, except vaguely in that all of the Gods were related.  Even if they were, Zeus does not strike me as the sympathetic sort.  He needed to make an example of Prometheus, and found a grisly but effective way to do it.  How else do you punish someone who's immortal?

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with #2. We have no information that claims a kinship between Prometheus and Zeus, apart from their shared identity as Titans. As Zeus was the leader of the Gods, he had the right to be obeyed, and therefore the right to punish any Titan that disobeyed him. Prometheus, whatever his motives, did disobey Zeus, and so he was punished accordingly.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think that Prometheus and Zeus are related, are they?  Prometheus was a Titan and Zeus was, of course, an Olympian god.  These groups were not related and in fact they fought each other for supremacy with the Titans losing to the Olympians.  So I don't really think there's any inconsistency with Zeus being so vengeful.

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