Prometheus Bound

by

Aeschylus

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Atlas Character Analysis

A Titan god and Prometheus’s brother. According to Greek mythology, Zeus ordered Atlas punished after the Battle of the Titans, and he was forced to stand holding “the weight of heaven and earth” upon his shoulders for all of eternity. Prometheus reminds Okeanos of Atlas’s suffering when Okeanos wants to appeal to Zeus on Prometheus’s behalf. Atlas serves as an example of Zeus’s power in Prometheus Bound and his ability to physically punish and imprison those who stand against him.

Atlas Quotes in Prometheus Bound

The Prometheus Bound quotes below are all either spoken by Atlas or refer to Atlas. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the New York Review Books edition of Prometheus Bound published in 2015.
Prometheus Bound Quotes

To know my brother Atlas stands,
at the gates of evening, bearing upon his shoulders
the weight of heaven and earth, too vast
for his encircling arms, gives me no comfort.
With grief as well I saw the earthborn dweller
in Cilicia’s cave, the hundred-headed monster
Typhon, conquered, his fury violently subdued,
who once braved all the gods with gruesome jaws,
hissing out terror, eyes ablaze, aiming to crush
the sovereign tyranny of Zeus. But flying
down against him came Zeus’ weapon, the sleepless,
fire-breathing thunderbolt, which cast him
out of his triumphant boast, for he was struck
in the very middle of his power, and all his strength
turned into ash. And now, a sprawling, helpless form,
he lies pressed down, close by the narrows of the sea,
beneath the roots of Aetna.

Related Characters: Prometheus (speaker), Zeus, Okeanos, Atlas, Typhon
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 24-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Prometheus Bound LitChart as a printable PDF.
Prometheus Bound PDF

Atlas Character Timeline in Prometheus Bound

The timeline below shows where the character Atlas appears in Prometheus Bound. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prometheus Bound
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
...wide berth / from all action, and rest easy.” He reminds Okeanos of his brother, Atlas, whom Zeus has made to bear “upon his shoulders / the weight of heaven and... (full context)