Ayn Rand Biography Essay

Submitted By lacey47654
Words: 1113
Pages: 5

.Ayn Rand and Mythology

Read the selection below and then answer the questions that follow.

Prometheus, whose name means forethought, was the Titan (giant race that inhabited earth before man was created) in mythology who fought with Zeus against Cronos. Once Cronos was defeated, Zeus became the king of the gods on Mt. Olympus. Unfortunately, even though Prometheus had fought along side Zeus, he had very little respect for him. Prometheus felt that Zeus had little compassion for the other gods on Mt. Olympus and none at all for the mortals below on earth. Actually Zeus had no interest at all in mankind and no intention of bestowing any gifts on them. He decreed that no god, including Prometheus, interfere with mortals. Without help from the gods, mankind would eventually die off, and this was what Zeus wanted. Prometheus, however, was interested in the mortals on earth and gave them many gifts such as how to make and build with bricks; how to fashion wood into tools, houses, and other useful items; how to trace stars across the heavens; and even the enormous gift of numbers and the alphabet. He also gave knowledge of ships and navigation, healing herbs, and how to mine precious metals. All art also came from Prometheus. All of this angered Zeus, but he did not want to punish Prometheus because he thought Prometheus was an ally. He warned him against further interference but did nothing else. Prometheus further showed his feelings for Zeus when he tricked him with a sacrificial meal. He disguised bones covered with fat as a tempting meal, and stuffed the best meat into the stomach of an ox to make it appear unappetizing. Zeus, of course, chose the meal of bones and was enraged when he discovered the ruse. In retribution, Zeus hid fire from the mortals. Prometheus asked Athena for admittance to Olympus. When she allowed him to enter, he lit a torch from the fiery chariot of the sun. He then placed a glowing ember from the torch into a giant fennel stalk, which he gave to mankind. Fire promoted all kinds of inventiveness and creativity. Zeus was even more outraged by this and sentenced Prometheus to be chained to a rock on a mountaintop for eternity where his liver was plucked and eaten every day by an eagle. Since Prometheus was immortal, each night his liver regenerated, and the cycle began anew each morning. Besides denying fire to humans, Zeus also cursed mankind to eternal toil. If Prometheus had not provoked Zeus, man would have been able to work for one day and supply all his needs for a year. Zeus's anger wasn't appeased by this punishment. To punish the mortals below, Zeus created Pandora and gave her the gift of curiosity. He also gave her a box and told her not to open it. When her curiosity won out, she opened the box and all the ills known to man flew out. Only hope was left, but it is hope that makes the ills and misfortunes of daily life bearable and even a blessing. After thirteen generations of being shackled on the mountaintop, Heracles climbed the mountain, killed the eagle, and released Prometheus from his bonds. His torture was finally ended, and mankind was benefited from his generosity and, at the same time, suffered for Zeus's rage against his one-time friend.

1. Which of the following is the best summary of this article? a. Prometheus had no respect for Zeus and tricked him with a false sacrifice and went against his orders concerning mortals. Prometheus gave numerous valuable gifts to mortals and was eventually punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten each day by an eagle. b. Prometheus fought with Zeus against Cronos. He gave mortals many gifts, including fire, which enraged Zeus. Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle cut out his liver and eat it each day. Zeus also punished mortals by causing them to have to work each day for survival and by unleashing the horrors of Pandora's