Photo of Statue By Atoma (Public Domain)
In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus had a reputation for being something of a clever trickster and he famously gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork, an action for which he was punished by Zeus, who ensured every day that an eagle ate the liver of the Titan as he was helplessly chained to a rock.
In Prometheus 2012 we can see many references to the black Ooze being like fire, the references in Lawrence of Arabia and David in Prometheus gives us that link. As well as the Peter Weyland TED Talk where he also speaks about the Prometheus Myth. In the Mission Ready clip, the Weyland Employee also talks of the Prometheus Mission as Weyland’s gift to mankind.
Prometheus (Forethought) was one of the ringleaders of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods led by Zeus to gain control of the heavens, a struggle which was said to have lasted ten years. Prometheus did, however, switch sides and support the victorious Olympians when the Titans would not follow his advice to use trickery in the battle.
I have also drawn parallels between Weyland and Prometheus here.
David was stranded on Planet 4 for 10 years and in that time he had used the Black Ooze to refine his creation. He switched sides from Elizabeth Shaw to destroy the engineers and pursued his own cause in creating the Xenomorph. Just as Prometheus created man.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Prometheus’ father was Iapetus, his mother was Clymene (or Themis in other versions) and his brothers were fellow Titans Epimetheus (Afterthought or Hindsight), Menoetius, and Atlas. One of Prometheus’ sons was Deucalion, an equivalent of Noah, who survived a great flood by sailing in a great chest for nine days and nights and who, with his wife Pyrrha, became the founder of the human race.
Deucalion is interesting because he was a Noah like figure, just like Walter was. Bringing the USCSS Covenant/Ark to Origae-6, but now David has taken his place he is representative of Deucalion.
In some traditions, Prometheus made the first man from clay, whilst in others, the gods made all creatures on Earth, and Epimetheus and Prometheus were given the task of endowing them with gifts so that they might survive and prosper. Epimetheus liberally spread around such gifts as fur and wings but by the time he got around to man, he had run out of gifts. Feeling sorry for man’s weak and naked state, Prometheus raided the workshop of Hephaistos and Athena on Mt. Olympus and stole fire, and by hiding it in a hollow fennel-stalk, he gave the valuable gift to man which would help him in life’s struggle. The Titan also taught man how to use their gift and so the skill of metalwork began; he also came to be associated with science and culture.
David is just like Prometheus because he is a scientist(mad scientist counts right?) and he is very cultured in the way he composes music, recites poetry and illustrates. And Walter is like Epimetheus.
PROMETHEUS RAIDED THE WORKSHOP OF HEPHAISTOS AND ATHENA ON MT. OLYMPUS AND STOLE FIRE; HE THEN GAVE THE VALUABLE GIFT TO MANKIND.
In a slightly different version of the story, mankind already had the fire, and when Prometheus tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and fat instead of the best meat during a meal at Mt. Olympus, Zeus, in anger, took away fire so that man would have to eat his
meat raw. Prometheus then stole the fire as in the alternative version. This also explained why, in animal sacrifices, the Greeks always dedicated the bones and fat to the gods and ate the meat themselves.
David sacrifices his love Elizabeth to create the xenomorph. And Planet 4 is a rotting Paradise filled with things that smell of rotting flesh.
Zeus was outraged by Prometheus’ theft of fire and so punished the Titan by having him taken far to the east, perhaps the Caucasus. Here Prometheus was chained to a rock (or pillar) and Zeus sent an eagle to eat the Titan’s liver. Even worse, the liver re-grew every night and the eagle returned each day to perpetually torment Prometheus.
The lifecycle of the Xenomorph could be symbolic of this, after being impregnated by the Facehugger or the motes will have a Chestburster or deacon eviscerate the host on escaping.