Introduction | Synopsis | evaluation | Resources


Back to height of Page

“Prometheus Bound” (Gr: “Prometheus Desmotes”) is a tragedy often attributed come the old Greek playwright Aeschylus although that is currently usually taken into consideration to be practically certainly the work-related of one more (unknown) hand, possibly as late together 415 BCE. It is based on the myth of Prometheus, the Titan who was punished by the god Zeus for offering fire come mankind.

You are watching: What is the theme of prometheus


Back to height of Page

Dramatis Personae – Characters


At the start of the play, Hephaestus, the blacksmith the the gods, add by Kratos and also Bia (representing Power and also Force), reluctantly chain Prometheus to a mountain in the Caucasus, (considered by the ancient Greeks to be the finish of the earth), when Kratos heaps abuse top top him and also Bia stays mute throughout. Although Hephaestus has actually some sympathy for Prometheus‘ plight, specifically in that Prometheus was crucial in Zeus’ win in the an excellent battle versus the Titans, Kratos reminds him the this is Zeus’ punishment for Prometheus‘ theft that forbidden fire indigenous the gods.

A Chorus of ocean nymhs (Prometheus‘ cousins, the Oceanids), attempt to lull Prometheus. That confides in the Chorus the his gift the fire come mankind was not his only benefaction, and also reveals that it was he who thwarted Zeus’ arrangement to obliterate the human race after ~ the battle versus the Titans, and also then taught guys all the civilizing arts, such together writing, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, style and farming (the so-called “Catalogue that the Arts”).

Later, the Titan Oceanus himself enters, announcing his intent to go to Zeus come plead ~ above Prometheus‘ behalf. However Prometheus discourages him, warning that the setup will only lug Zeus’s wrath under on Oceanus himself. However, he shows up confident the Zeus will eventually release that anyway, together he will have need that Prometheus‘ gift of prophecy in order come safeguard his very own position (he hints several times at the prophecy around a son who would come to be greater 보다 his father).

Prometheus is then visited by Io, once a beautiful maiden pursued by the lustful Zeus, but now, thanks to the jealous Hera, transformed into a cow, gone after to the ends of the earth by a biting gadfly. Prometheus again demonstrates his gift that prophecy in revealing to Io the her torments will continue for part time, yet will eventually finish in Egypt, whereby she will bear a son named Epaphus, including that among her descendants several generations thus (the unnamed Heracles), will be the one that will release Prometheus self from his very own torment.

Towards the end of the play, Zeus sends Hermes the messenger-god down to Prometheus to need of him that it is that intimidates to overthrow him. When Prometheus refuses to comply, the angry Zeus strikes him v a thunderbolt the plunges him down into the abyss that Tartarus, where he is come be torture forever with great and devastating pains, organ-devouring beasts, lightning and never-ending agony.


Back to optimal of Page

Aeschylus‘ therapy of the legend of Prometheus departs radically from the previously accounts in Hesiod‘s “Theogony” and also “Works and Days”, where the Titan is depicted as a lowly trickster. In “Prometheus Bound”, Prometheus becomes more of a wise and also proud human being benefactor fairly than an item of blame for human being suffering, and also Pandora and also her seasoned of evils (whose arrival was prompted by Prometheus‘ theft of fire in Hesiod‘s account) is completely absent.

“Prometheus Bound” was purportedly the first play in a Prometheus trilogy conventionally called the “Prometheia”. However, the other two plays, “Prometheus Unbound” (in i beg your pardon Heracles frees Prometheus indigenous his chains and also kills the eagle that had actually been sent everyday to eat the Titan’s forever regenerating liver) and also “Prometheus the Fire-Bringer” (in i beg your pardon Prometheus warns Zeus no to lie v the sea nymph Thetis together she is fated to offer birth come a son greater than the father, an plot which brings about the grateful Zeus’ last reconciliation v Prometheus), survive only in fragments.

Although there room reports dating earlier to the good Library that Alexandria unanimously crediting Aeschylus together the writer of “Prometheus Bound”, modern-day scholarship (based on stylisic and metrical grounds, as well as its uncharacteristically unflattering relenten of Zeus, and also references to it in the functions of other writers) increasingly points to a date of about 415 BCE, long after Aeschylus‘ death. Some scholars have actually even said that it might be the work-related of Aeschylus‘ son, Euphorion, who was likewise a playwright. The ongoing controversy will, however, probably never be solved definitively.

Much that the pat is written of speeches and contains little action, particularly given the its protagonist, Prometheus, is chained and also immobile throughout.

A significant theme transparent the pat is around resisting tyranny and the frustration and also helplessness of reason and also rightness in the face of sheer power. Prometheus is the personification of reason and also wisdom, yet he also represents the separation, personal, instance of conscience in a tyrannical totalitarian state (a usual theme in Greek dram of the era). He is depicted as the rebel through a conscience, who crime – his love of man – bring on him the rage of the gods, but also the immediate sympathy the the human being audience. He becomes a representative for those person champions the justice and also principle that defy tyranny and pay the ultimate price. In part ways, Prometheus prefigures Christ, together a magnificent being who suffers awful tortures because that the sake of mankind.

See more: Roblox Servers My Friends Are In Gs Using "Servers My Friends Are In" Sort

Another huge theme in the play is the of fate. Together a visionary who deserve to see the future, Prometheus knows full well that he can not escape his lengthy years that torture, yet he likewise knows that at some point he will certainly be set free, and that he own a piece of strategic understanding that might preserve or ruin Zeus’s reign.