Change Agency in the Myths of Prometheus


It is a truism that businesses and societies must change with the times. This means that leaders, especially established ones, must learn to accept change. Hesiod’s Theogony shows the beginning of the world according to the Greeks. It also discusses several transitions of power that eventually lead to Zeus punishing humankind. The Titan Prometheus is involved in these changes by helping transition the leadership structure (the Titans vs. the gods), giving fire to humankind, and participating in negotiations between humankind and Zeus. The portrayals of Prometheus in Hesiod’s Works and Days and Theogony as well as Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound focus on his varied roles as a change agent and often cast Zeus as an autocratic leader. This case allows students to examine the actions of Prometheus, Zeus, and others in these examples of power transition.

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