The complete title of Shelley's novel is Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus
. Prometheus was the titan who, in Greek mythology, gave the knowledge of fire to humanity and then suffered severe punishment at the hands of the Gods for his generous actions. In Frankenstein
attempts to give the gift of the secret of life to humanity, but ends up suffering grave punishment as a result: the monster
he creates destroys his family and his life. Fire appears throughout the novel as a dangerous force used for sustenance (as when the monster discovers fire) and punishment (as when the monster describes demons suffering in the lake of fire in hell).