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Prometheus Bound Essay

709 words - 3 pages

Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound conveys the ambiguity of fate through its protagonist, Prometheus, and the abuse of his foresight. Despite being confined and tortured at the top of a mountain, Prometheus adamantly reassures himself that he will be set free. As Prometheus is in pain, he says it will be “smoothed quite away,” this prophesizes Zeus having to forcibly reconcile with Prometheus. This also proves Prometheus unrelenting in his efforts to face challenge. Zeus mistakes Prometheus’ intelligence for hubris, and this is why he plans to keep him shackled for eternity. When Prometheus says, “Fate…brings all things to an end,” this implies that to know fate and how it is definite is torture in itself, and even Zeus himself cannot alter it. Prometheus is aware of what will happen, but is bound to do nothing of it. Upon being humiliated by Zeus, Prometheus reflects motifs such as the inevitability of fate, Zeus’ tyranny, and the Chorus’ friendship.
Prometheus claims to have been very helpful to man preceding the events of the play. To Zeus however, the act of stealing fire from the Greek gods, especially since it foiled Zeus’ plan to exterminate the human race, would be cause for mediation. Prometheus knew of this fault beforehand, bolstered by his “too great a love of mankind.” Prometheus’ attempts to alleviate the problems of man turned into trouble, when what was to be help proved to be Prometheus tricking Zeus. Prometheus’ compassion was his drive to brazen the almighty monarch. He “took expectancy of death” from man, seeing it would ruin Zeus. Ultimately, Prometheus knew that newly ruling Zeus did not have a good standing with humanity, who was used to the cold, hunger, and death. At this point, Prometheus both advocates and condemns his foresight.
Prometheus acknowledges fate as enough to end Zeus’ rule. However, he is aware that fate is always inevitable, and it is why he is being tortured. Prometheus tells the chorus that “Zeus bear hardly on the reign of fate.” He is confident that he...

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