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Why do tricksters cause problems for the gods and side with humans?
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| Words: 996 | Submitted: 31-Mar-2011
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DescriptionWhy do tricksters cause problems for the gods and side with humans?
The first fires to be lit. The first waters to flow. These, according to many myths, were not things we humans were supposed to possess. These were items only to for the luxury of the all-powerful gods who kept themselves raised high above us mere mortals. Were it up to them we would still be in the dark eating raw meat and washing it down with our own saliva struggling just to survive because the gods felt this was all we deserved. This changed somehow. We do having flowing water, we do have fire, and we do have these things that were once held from us.
Who or what do we owe for these simple luxuries. Luxuries that we have used to advance ourselves scientifically, morally, and technically. It must be an inherently good benefactor who loved us more than the gods did. A being that cared so much for us that they would betray the gods themselves. Well, in some cases that is true.
This is the case with most versions of the story of Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the Greek gods (Intro. to mythology-Thury and Devinney, Chapter 24 pages353 -359) and gave it to man. This action by Prometheus was one of the most important events for man inGreek mythology. Having fire did far more than just provide glowing warmth and light to man. Fire enabled man to progress. With the addition of fire to manís life, he could cook food for many varying tastes, heat and mold metals into weapons, armor and tools. For this Prometheus was punished to an excruciating degree. He would be chained to a rock high atop a cliff where an eagle would come every day and peck out his liver, and at night his liver would grow back creating a never ending cycle of pain for him.
Why did Prometheus help mankind to such a degree and suffer such a punishment for mere humans? Most versions of the story regarding Prometheus give the impression that he did it merely to help man out of pity, he felt sorry for man and wished to aid humans. It is true that in the story fire did help man greatly, so much so that it altered manís entire future. That being said, one could still ask was this the only reason why Prometheus stole the fire. It can be seen in Hesiodís version of the story (Intro. to Mythology Ė Thury and Devinney. Chapter 24 pages 355-356) that on some level Prometheus was trying to show his mental mastery of Zeus, the lord of the gods. Was Prometheus merely trying to show that he could, as they say, pull on over ...
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