Frankenstein, Blade Runner and the Myth of Prometheus

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Question 1- Texts in Time
How do you see Shelley??™s Frankenstein as The Modern Prometheus Does this myth have any correlation to Blade Runner

Once acquainted with the myth of Prometheus, it??™s easy to see why Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein was subtitled ???The Modern Prometheus??™ and how Ridley Scott??™s science- thriller Blade Runner is effortlessly linked to the subject. All three texts were based around the dream, the creation, the disregard of limits and their consequences. As the texts were all set in different contexts, their expectations and motivation differed, which emphasises the modern aspects, consequences and reactions. The similarity of the main characters brings together the three texts and shows the correlation between Blade Runner, Frankenstein and the Myth of Prometheus. Prometheus had more noble intentions, with no motive other than to instil life and protect what he had created, but in more modern times, Frankenstein had slightly more selfish intentions with recognition desired but the selfishness reached a new low in Blade Runner with the creation of life motivated by indescribable greed with no thought to the creatures they have made.

Just as Prometheus made the clay figures and gave them fire with no regard to rules and boundaries, it was apparent in both Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott??™s Blade Runner through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and Tyrell. In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein and his newly made acquaintance, Walton, had complete faith that their actions were to better humanity. They had dreams of knowledge, fame and glory which is apparent when Frankenstein confessed ???A new species would bless me as its creator??? and that they would ???owe their belonging??? to him. In Blade Runner, the Tyrell Corporation had created the most realistic robot, which were ???more human than human??™ but had the ultimate motivation- ???Commerce is our goal???. Their motivation helps reveal the context in which the two separate texts were written in. Frankenstein, written in the 19th Century was a time of romanticism. Consumerism was not existent but the yearning for glory and recognition was. Filmed in the consumer-driven 1980??™s, Ridley Scott??™s Blade Runner message of destruction is clear.

Throughout the novel it becomes increasingly more obvious why Frankenstein is referred to as the Modern Prometheus, with fame and wealth becoming more desirable than reputable morals and ethics, society??™s motivations change. In Blade Runner, this theory reaches a peak where consumerism overrules principles. The selfishness and inconsiderate actions of man are evident throughout the main plot, as the Tyrell Corporation creates robots with emotion in the attempt to earn more money then fails to commit to his parental responsibility and deny them their request of more life. Frankenstein and the myth of Prometheus are both perceived as romantic texts as they are more focused on the quest for knowledge and advancement as opposed to religion. This is clear when Frankenstein admits to Walton ???It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.???
Throughout all three texts, the character of the ???over-reacher??™ is present. The over-reacher in these texts, have no regard for rules, limits or consequences. Prometheus was punished for defying Zeus??™ orders just as Frankenstein and Tyrell were punished for attempting to take the place of God and of women. Their punishments were all different due to the context in time of which it was written in. Prometheus??™s pain was physical; being tied to a rock and a bird ate his liver, Frankenstein??™s pain was the death of his closest friends and family, and being an out cast of society with his secrets hidden, and Tyrell??™s punishment was the destruction of the environment which was made evident through the synthetic animals and the constant rain and his death through one of his own creations.

It is clear throughout both texts the similarities and the modern influences that they both contain to the Myth of Prometheus. Frankenstein had resemblance to Prometheus as they were both romantic texts; however Frankenstein acted out of different motives than kind-hearted Prometheus. The actions of all three protagonists in Blade Runner, Frankenstein and in the Myth of Prometheus have consequences, and all the consequences were different due to the context they were written in, just as the motivation changed. The similarities were evident through out the basic plotline of the texts and the storylines became more self-centred and the living thing that was created became more isolated and rejected as the texts became more modern. The context the texts were made in resulted in three different plots, which, however contained the same central theme and meaning throughout.

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