There is no poetry, no artistic liberty, and certainly nothing to spark a discussion of his exploits thousands of years later. However, in most accounts, he is a Titan, a giant man or god who attempted to overthrow Zeus, and is the brother of the equally unfortunate Atlas. His personal lasting mark is strangely a side-effect of both his compassion for mankind and his contempt for the gods: bringing fire to the human race. This single act would solidify his martyr status, as he would spend an eternity at the bottom of the pecking order. Zeus sentenced him to survival. Zeus was not known for his mercy; this survival entailed being chained to a rock and eaten by an eagle, which is an animal widely acknowledged to symbolize justice and, ironically, equality. Beyond that, he shares a semi-divine status with Hercules, the demigod who would later release him from his torturous sentence. After this escape, his name was selected to grace the sky as one of the moons of Saturn (Dictionary.com, LLC, 2010).
Hesiod’s account of Prometheus fits neatly into the tale of Thegonia, the birth of the gods. Hesiod sought to accommodate the many tales of the development of the gods and of Greek mythology through the production of one cohesive narrative. In particular, there is a constant war between the perspectives of the gods, men (who are represented as having a characteristic kinship with animals), and of the multitudes of characters in between the two extremes. Unlike many writers before him, Hesiod also cast off the ulterior motives of establishing a divine role in human authority. By his reasoning, the gods had a hierarchy as headed by Zeus and granted little importance to the affairs of men- unless they defied godly commands or desires (Vickery 1966, pp. 86-87).
As an embodiment of the human spirit of defiance, brothers Atlas and Prometheus would defy the gods and be made martyrs. What makes them iconic is their status as a party between men