Man has developed medicine and trade form fire, but he has also developed war and conquest. He has become more productive, more dangerous.
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Zeus could simply have taken fire back from man, though he has a point to make in his actions. I love how Aeschylus has banded this situation together. As ever, with Ancient Greek drama the morale dilemma is the driving force of the plot. Jul 16, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: But that doesn't stop him from speaking up against the tyranny of Zeus, who is particularly harsh and unfair as he is new to power - not established enough yet to be able able to cope with free thinking, independence and criticism.
Prometheus is punished for feeling for humankind "Don't rage and storm. Prometheus is punished for feeling for humankind and for giving them the tools to rise to a new level of civilisation. By giving them fire, he offers them what was considered the privilege of gods, and thus he breaks the hierarchical rules of the status quo.
For that, he is chained to a mountain by Hephaistos, acting unwillingly on Zeus' orders. The political situation described two and a half millennia ago is strikingly human and timeless. Exchange Prometheus' name for any idealist rebel, and Zeus' wrath for that of any ruthless patriarch, and the drama will stay essentially the same.
You will find the sexual exploitation of young vulnerable women exposed to men of power without empathy in any given era, and most later victims won't be given the whole Ionian Sea to be remembered by. You will find the advisers of Oceanus' type - recognising injustice but reluctant to risk their own privilege to speak up against the tyrant.
And you will find the powerless Chorus of those lamenting fate without being able to change it.
Prometheus Bound: Upstart Gods, Politics, and Morality at the Beginning of Time
Machiavelli described Zeus in his Prince. And Milton created a version of Prometheus in his Satan. Wherever people are punished for speaking truth to power and standing up for the rights of weaker communities, you have Prometheus Bound re-enacted. And still today we hear powerful men yelling "Pride! Prometheus is all of us who believe in and work for the development of civilised and just life.
What makes him stand out is his will to act on behalf of others, and not just moan and complain about the injustice of his "bad boss". Timeless classic - to be reread regularly until the Promethean gift has reached each corner of the world.
View all 4 comments. Apr 21, Pooja rated it really liked it Shelves: Prometheus Bound is a play based on the Greek Mythology. Prometheus, a titan immortal , a descendant of original gods, Gaia and Ouranos Earth and Heaven , is being imprisoned, chained and punished to death by Zeus Olympus God for being kind to human beings, for making them capable and giving a head to think for themselves and nature, to give them a power to become equal to Gods. He stole fire from Olympus.
He gave fire to men. He stopped men thinking of th Prometheus: He stopped men thinking of their future deaths. Inside their hearts he put blind hope! With it men will soon master many arts. He did that for men, nothing but the creatures of a day. If ever in your life, you have had a little interest in Greek Mythology, have enjoyed an audacious and without modesty conversation between Gods or even if you have not, then this book is for you.
I tried to persuade many of my friends to read this one short book, they again won't listen. They are not my friends anymore. Do not enroll yourself in that list.
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Do not become a person who refuses to encounter such art. If you come across a play as this and do not have a look at it, then THIS is a tragedy of all tragedies. View all 7 comments. By the immutable hugs steel chains, nails that Saviour of men at these high steep rocks. He stole from the splendor of Fire which creates all, your flower, and he gave it to mortals. Chastises him for having insulted the gods. He may learn to revere the tyranny of Zeus, and he is careful to be kind to men Being a God, you do not fear the wrath of the gods. You made the Living too large donations. For that, on this gloomy rock standing without bendi For that, on this gloomy rock standing without bending the knee, without sleep, you will consummate yourself into endless lamentations useless groans View all 6 comments.
In antiquity, it was attributed to Aeschylus, but now is considered by some scholars to be the work of another hand, and perhaps one as late as c. Despite these doubts of authorship, the play's designation as Aeschylean has remained conventional. The tragedy is based on the myth of Prometheus, a Titan who defies the gods and gives fire to mankind, acts for which he is subjected to perpetual punishment.
Sep 17, Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'm shocked to see that only one of my Goodreads friends has read this play. This is my favorite work of ancient Greek literature. The story has some pretty deep meaning. It's really the inverse of the Fall From Grace. Instead of the human desire for knowledge resulting in the perverse punishment of Original Sin as issued by that sadistic toddler running the show in the Old Testament, we find a tale of heroic sacrifice which results in the illuminating powers of reason and curiosity being bestow I'm shocked to see that only one of my Goodreads friends has read this play.
Instead of the human desire for knowledge resulting in the perverse punishment of Original Sin as issued by that sadistic toddler running the show in the Old Testament, we find a tale of heroic sacrifice which results in the illuminating powers of reason and curiosity being bestowed upon the minds of mortal, fallible human beings.
View all 11 comments. Oct 02, Owlseyes rated it really liked it Shelves: Bound to a rock, Prometheus claims for help and understanding; for how long?
Someone has locked his feet and hands. He implores the Divine Ether, the winds …mother Earth, the Sun: Zeus, now is t Bound to a rock, Prometheus claims for help and understanding; for how long? Zeus, now is the king. He wants to annihilate races. He distributes privileges; but nothing to mankind.
The end for this tragic play places Prometheus being buried under rocks. Three thousand years later Shelley will resurrect him Dec 21, Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is probably the best and most classic telling of Prometheus, from his giving fire to man from the noblest of reasons to how horribly and seemingly unjustly that Zeus punishes him. All arts and tools come from Prometheus, after all, and he should always be considered the greatest of all friends of mankind even though he is a titan.
However, he's also the one that pushed us to improve our intellect in the same way he did for himself, and in doing so, he brought harm upon himself. We created war with the smelting of ore into weapons, after all. It's not all about cooking and keeping warm or creating medicine. Was it right to keep an immortal chained and have a bird eat his liver for all eternity? Or was this just the graphic depiction of what we will always do to ourselves? I wish I could read the other two parts of this play. I think that would be awesome. What we've got is still pretty raw and emotional and delightfully slanted.
After all, we're meant to sympathize entirely with Prometheus throughout the play. It reminds me an awful lot of Paradise Lost. Good motivations and charismatic leaders leading to roads paved to hell. Prometeu O Filantropo roubou o fogo aos deuses e entregou-o aos homens. View all 3 comments. Still quite riveting for a story written years ago!
More than any other work of literature I've ever read, Prometheus Bound is the play where nothing happens. Even in Waiting for Godot, the characters at least move around a little. But poor Prometheus spends the entire play spiked to a rock. But it's terrific anyway. This is Karl Marx's favorite play, and you'll understand why. Prometheus is a proletariat hero: It's not just fire he gives them, eithe Nothing happens! Always capable of exacting harsh punishments, in "Prometheus Bound" Zeus is particularly cruel and tyrannical.
For reasons we never learn, Prometheus is exceptionally kind to weak humanity. Even more importantly, here Prometheus describes how he taught us all the skills we need to be civilized and understand the gods. For sharing this forbidden knowledge, Prometheus must pay.
Hesiod tells us how the humans paid: The action of "Prometheus Bound" begins with the brutal chaining of the Titan to a high, desolate cliff at the far ends of the world. Early Greeks imagined themselves in the center of an earth encircled by ocean. The chorus of young, unmarried daughters of personified Ocean Okeanids hear the sounds of hammering and fly onstage in winged chariots.
These Okeanids are fairly low-level on the immortal scale closer here to mortals than to gods ; we can probably picture them as between 14 and 16 years old. They have their father's permission, as proper maidens must, although Prometheus is a relative, and married to one of their older sisters. While the young women are horrified at the Titan's plight, they also counsel him to be more reasonable.
Their father Ocean eventually flies in, too, counsels more of the same, and is sent away. Prometheus refuses to be cajoled, threatened or tortured into submission, or even into a reasonable, diplomatic silence. The arrival of Io, another young unmarried female, signals the heart of the play. Zeus forced Io's tearful father to drive her from home so he could "marry" rape her.
To hide her from a jealous Hera, he disguised Io as a lovely white heifer, which Hera demanded as a gift. Powerless to pay back Zeus, able only to abuse his lovers, Hera now forces Io to wander over the entire world, goaded by the impossibly painful stings of a gadfly. Prometheus, Io, and the chorus lament Zeus's behavior and Io's future torments. Prometheus describes her remaining journey and reveals that she will eventually bear a son who will free him. He reports that Zeus himself is in terrible danger from a new "marriage" that he cannot avert without Prometheus's help.
After Io departs, the young Okeanids lament bitterly and pray never to be the objects of Zeus's attention -- or that of any powerful god. Hermes arrives and orders Prometheus to explain his threats; otherwise, Zeus will destroy the cliff and bury him, then bring him back so Zeus's eagle can rip his flesh to shreds every day.
Although Hermes advises the chorus to leave, they bravely stay with Prometheus as the earth convulses. Greeks in the fifth century B. Many scholars believe "Prometheus Bound" was the first play in either a tragic trilogy -- the traditional format in Aeschylus's lifetime at the Great Dionysia festival at Athens -- or a dilogy two connected plays. The dramatic torture by the famous bird would have occurred in the second play, Prometheus Unbound, in which Heracles shoots the eagle and rescues the Titan. This play is preserved in fragments and later comments.
Prometheus Bound (Rubens) - Wikipedia
The name of another play, Prometheus Firebearer, survives. In it, Zeus may have resolved the ongoing conflict and permitted the gift of fire to mortals. Certainly, the two gods' eventual reconciliation happened in myth, and in real human terms Prometheus was worshipped in a cult associated with crafts requiring heat and flame.
At the Dionysia in the middle quarters of the fifth century B. Each of three tragedians produced three tragedies followed by an irreverent satyr play. Masked actors and chorus moved and danced in a simple earthen performance space. The chorus sang complex, formal poetry, and the actors spoke in rhythmical meter. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Is it right that Orestes, a young man in no way responsible for his situation, should be commanded by a god, in the name of justice, to avenge….
Zeus , in ancient Greek religion, chief deity of the pantheon, a sky and weather god who was identical with the Roman god Jupiter. His name clearly comes from that of the sky god Dyaus of the ancient Hindu Rigveda. Zeus was regarded as the sender of thunder and lightning, rain,…. Beyond it, to the west, were the sunless land of the Cimmerii, the country of dreams, and the entrance to the underworld.
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