Prometheus' drama is eternal. The Prometheus myth speaks to Western man today. The prototype of the rebel, Prometheus sought to conquer a past that no longer answered his needs and to dominate a present that might otherwise have engulfed him. According to some legends, Prometheus created man out of earth; but because man was imperfect Zeus sought to destroy him and bring forth a new race. Prometheus, who looked upon humanity with compassion, could not stand by and allow such annihilation. By stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to mankind, he prevented the massacre. Fire became the source of man's discoveries and enabled him, so it was thought, to master nature. Civilization resulted: the birth of rational concepts, the alphabet, the arts, mathematics, astronomy, agriculture, metallurgy, medicine, and so on. As a fine psychologist, Prometheus knew that hope was an important factor in helping man experience a positive life process. He therefore endowed him with a sense of illusion, thus relieving him from feelings of perpetual discouragement that might accrue from recognizing the absurdity of his condition. He also instilled in man the meaning and value of energy, action, ambition, liberty--all of which give purpose to his life struggle. After Prometheus' theft of fire, he and Zeus became overt antagonists. The father of the Gods represented archaic order, an intransigence of spirit, an inhuman attitude toward man. To battle with Zeus indicated courage and hubris. Prometheus was conscious of the struggle his bold act entailed and accepted his punishment with spiritual and physical dignity. He was nailed to a rock on a mountain peak in Scythia and thus exiled from humanity. He was then hurled into Tartarus, and later tied to a mountain crag in the Caucasus where an eagle sent by Zeus ate out his liver by day, which then regenerated at night. Prometheus' battle with Zeus was not one-sided, however. Prometheus' mother revealed to him the secret of Zeus' downfall. It was said that one of Zeus' paramours would give birth to a son thirteen generations hence who would overthrow his father.