Discuss the similarities and differences among Prometheus and Heracles with reference to Aeschylus ' Prometheus Bound and Apollodorus ' Heracles.
Prometheus Bound written by Aeschylus and Heracles written by Apollodorus, are classical myths that have been published and have been carried out with time. They both are known to feature leading characters with quite complex personalities and always seeming to grasp the reader’s attention. The characters are, Prometheus, and Heracles, respectively. Both characters have stories of their own, each having different motives and reasons in their story, but yet seem to have good portions of similarities and differences among each other.
With regards to similarity, Prometheus and Heracles have a divine heritage, one being a god and other being a half breed of the mighty god Zeus. They have the similar characteristics of both being mightier than the mortal man, one is a powerful hero (Heracles) and the other is a highly gifted god (Prometheus). To express this further, when Heracles was a child “Hera, wanting to destroy the child, sent two serpents to his bed, but Heracles leapt up and killed the serpents” (Apollodorus Heracles, P70). The mighty Heracles had crushed the heads of the serpents with each hand, exhibiting his power at a young age. Similarly, when the titans were at war with the Olympians, Prometheus was an integral part to their success due to his gifts of foreseeing prophecies and also being highly intellectual. This stresses on the point that both Heracles and Prometheus were characters that had more power and divinity than the mortal man.
They both are heroes in their own ways with respect to their story. Both are benefactors to the humankind giving gifts in their own ways, with Prometheus giving mankind the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork, and Heracles showing compassion towards mankind. Even though both of them were givers to mankind, they both did it in a different way.
Prometheus had a fond liking of men, so much that he even sacrificed his freedom so that mortals could have a better life. “He stole and gave to mortal man” (Aeschylus Prometheus Bound, P311, Lines 8-12) exhibiting the qualities of compassion and kindness we spoke about earlier. Fire is an integral part of life, and by Prometheus disobeying his mighty leader, Zeus, he changed life for men even though he faced torture and hate from all the other gods and goddesses. Even with all the backlash Prometheus didn’t regret what he had done as he says “I gave great privileges and for that was yoked in this unyielding harness I hunted out the secret spring of fire, which when revealed became the teacher of each craft to men” (Aeschylus Prometheus Bound, P315, Line 107-112)....