A literary myth arises when one is needed and when this time protects the author with the right talent to express that need. Prometheus is one of the most notable examples of this procedure. Aeschylus, in his great tragedy, made him a symbol of rebellion against the gods or, more generally, of human non conformity before the limits of man. The poet transformed a lesser mythical figure – a scheme of smiths into an Archaic Akea – into one of the main myths of Western culture. After its fading in the Middle Ages, Prometheus reappears in the Renaissance. Adotta Michelangelo Buonarrotti or Giordano Bruno: the Promethean always arises symbolically when it comes to widening the fields of knowledge and transgressing the boundaries of the human being.
Hence the importance of a subtitle, the modern Prometheus. She was put by a very young Mary Shelley after the title of her main novel, "Doctor Frankenstein". The story surrounding the idea of the text is fun and well known: a gathering of friends on the shores of Lake Geneva, a stimulating entertainment on "vampires" or "spirits". There are Lord Byron, Dr. Polidori, the poet Percy Shelley, his wife Mary. It will be the last to win the challenge if we look at the enormous impact that will later on have its "Dr. Frankenstein", the text started on the shores of Lake Geneva.
But the role of Frankenstein – the modern Prometheus – and his creature was produced because Mary Shelley, with great intuition, sensed one of the main currents of our time: the implicit destructiveness of all creation, the dark side of progress, the risk associated with liberating transgressions. Perhaps that is why the second part of "Dr. Frankenstein" is too puritanical, repeatedly moralistic. However, the entire first part is a splendid audacity, the show of a talent – Mary Shelley – capable of raising a literary myth to the authentic spirit of the time.