A spaceship called Prometheus is on its way to seek the origins of humankind. In the cabin, David the hero of this movie is repeating the line from another film Lawrence of Arabia,
“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” Prometheus is a Titan who suffered
severe punishment for human civilization’s initiation and progress in Greek mythology. As
revealed by the title, Prometheus constantly shows a value proposition of human striving and
exploring with the courage to sacrifice.
The heroine Elizabeth Shaw’s self-operated abortion must be the most stunning shot in
this movie, which just resembles the circumstance that Prometheus was punished to feed his liver to the eagle and the belly was slit and then sutured. Not minding the hurt by overusing analgesics, her intrepid determination is incredible, while she is described as the physically weakest person in the team vomiting a lot after having hibernated for 2 years, unlike the boss’ strong daughter
Vickers doing pushups when just waken up from the long-term standby state. Shaw is also the one who survives by doughtily fighting against and finally utilizing her “baby” to kill the last
alive “engineer” on this planet who is trying to accomplish the task of eliminating human race. She never bends on anything and always seeks the answers. In accordance with the crucifix she still wants to hold after all the disappointments and her questioning that who created the “engineers” then, the motivations to strive like this are her curiosity, belief, and beautiful imaginations of the creator. In another word, there must be someone like God or Prometheus, with a reference to her father having left.
The other protagonist is also doing in Prometheus’ way practically. As an extremely
knowledgeable and hyper-rational artificial man, David’s behaviors might be difficult to be
judged by common sense. He earnestly imitates people to make others comfortable as well as forthright exposes everything’s essence. He acts alone on the engineers’ spacecraft and being
fulfilled by the spectacular images. Innocent smiles and kind deeds like saving Shaw intrepidly contrast with some doubtful or even merciless methods. Nevertheless, a key point can be tracked in all his acts: He just wants to “try harder” to achieve the predetermined goal, to discover how
humankind was created, especially the secret of spirit. In fact, his efforts are based on the same dedication but in different ways. For instance, before the most controversial conduct that he poisons Charlie Holloway with the pathogen which leads to the birth of the “alien” eventually,
David has asked how far could Holloway be devoted to find the truth and gotten the answer “anything and everything.” Then for a great experiment this life is sacrificed in fire, which is a symbol of Prometheus who stole the fire from superior. That’s why David says that sometimes
creation accompanies destruction.
Likewise, on the very first stage of the story a humanoid extraterrestrial life later known
as one of the “engineers” who created human beings by disintegrating himself is the direct representative of Prometheus. As positive characters, the captain and his assistants end up with choosing to sacrifice themselves, too, in order to rescue the human beings from the spacecraft of extinction, crushing the Prometheus spaceship against it.
Besides the classic scene that T. E. Lawrence extinguishes the lighted match by fingers reappearing, even the heroine is named after his assumed last name Shaw. When the spaceship arrives on the planet LV-233, where the biggest ultimate questions of human are expected to be answered, David brings out Lawrence’s another line “There is nothing in the desert and no man
needs nothing.” meaning that everyone has his or her own quest there. All of these are not only
paying homage to this remarkable heroic film, but also a tribute to the pioneering and dedication
spirit of Prometheus as showed in the characters mentioned above.