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“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” These famous words by the painter Pablo Picasso prove true in the infamous Jewish myth, The Golem: How He Came into the World (The Golem), and Karl Capek’s play, Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.). Throughout history, many persons have tried to play God, through acts like cloning in the 1990’s or simply calling themselves God, as was practice in ancient Egyptian societies. Rarely in time though has man actually succeeded at his game, until comes the notorious Prague golem and R.U.R.s robots. In the stories, two old men and their communities discover the consequences of creation when they bring clay and machines to life. Both tales detail the conception and destruction of artificial beings, the golem and the robot respectively. While the lives of the golems and the robots follow a similar path, the reasoning behind the creation, use and destruction of both are radically different.To start, both the golem in The Golem and the robots in R.U.R. were shaped with material and supernatural elements. In The Golem, Rabbi Low literally molds a large amount of clay into a man. He further proceeds to call upon the spirit of Astaroth to help him bring the golem to life. After a series of rituals and the placing of the Shem Amulet inside the golem’s chest, Rabbi Low finally bestows life. Similarly, the robots also have physical and mystical components in their formation. So while a android was initially processed out of a factory, it would develop emotional and destructive traits as time went by. Dr. Gall had experimented with giving the machines feelings, but never could have guessed that the robots would be granted literal souls, something Dr. Gall or any scientist could never…

…t of violence in The Golem and R.U.R., both parables ended on relatively positive notes as well, with the golem smelling roses and playing with children, to several of the robots passionately declaring their love for one another. Despite the great number of similarities between the golem and the androids, both were produced by their masters for different reasons: Rabbi Low tries to prove God’s wrath and old Rossum tries to prove His absence. The beings are used by their makers for different reasons as well: the golem to protect; the robots simply to serve and help. And when the creations finally rise to ruin their masters, they again have different motivations behind their actions, with the golem simply destroying because he was pre-programmed to, and the robots because of their humanization. In total, The Golem and R.U.R. prove the lethal consequences of creation.

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