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Prometheus and Pandora

In a Nutshell

In the immortal words of REM's Michael Stipe, "Everybody hurts sometimes."

It's no secret that everyone suffers. And it's also no secret that we all wonder WHY?! Yep, in all caps. Because suffering seems totally unfair, doesn't it?

We weren't the first people to ask these tough questions, either. The Ancient Greeks were totally on top of it. And in order to answer the question of suffering, they did what they do best: they came up with a story. And that, folks, is where Prometheus and Pandora come in.

This story might not satisfy your desire for answers, but it'll at least let you know that you're not the only one who wants 'em.


Shmoop Connections

Explore the ways this myth connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop

We're sure you've heard of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, but did you know the full title is Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus? What makes Frankenstein so Prometheusy?

Looks like the Shelleys were really into Prometheus. Mary's husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, wrote a play called Prometheus Unbound, which was meant to be a sequel of sorts to Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus.

Speaking of which, how about that Aeschylus? His Prometheus Bound will give you all the deets on the story at hand.

Novelist Ayn Rand draws from the Prometheus myth in Anthem and Atlas Shrugged. Finding the references might be like finding a needle in a haystack, but we have faith in you, dear Shmoopers.

Like basically every Greek myth ever, the story of Prometheus was retold by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.

Prometheus gets a shout out in Shakespeare's gruesome tragedy, Titus Andronicus. When the Bard brings you into play, you know you're a big deal.

Even the super-Christian epic Paradise Lost gives a nod to Prometheus. He's everywhere.

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