Prometheus Bound

by

Aeschylus

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Okeanos Character Analysis

The Titan god of oceans and streams. Okeanos goes to Prometheus’s aid when Prometheus is chained to the mountain, and intends to go to Zeus and appeal to him on Prometheus’s behalf. Like his daughters, the chorus, Okeanos is compassionate and sympathetic of Prometheus’s predicament, but Prometheus implies that Okeanos shouldn’t be so kind to him. “Witness the friend of Zeus,” Prometheus says to Okeanos, “who helped create the tyrant’s rule.” Zeus came to power over the Titans, of which Okeanos is a god, only with Prometheus’s help. Now, Prometheus suffers at the hand of Zeus, and it is a Titan god who comes to save him. Prometheus warns Okeanos, the one who “escaped all blame”—Okeanos was not sent to Tartaros with the rest of the Titans after the Battle of the Titans—that he has “risked everything to lend” Prometheus his “support.” Okeanos’s compassion and sympathy could summon the wrath of Zeus, and Prometheus doesn’t want Okeanos to suffer after having miraculously escaped Zeus’s anger once already. Okeanos ultimately leaves Prometheus and agrees not to go to Zeus, but his kindness and support remain until he goes. Also like his daughters, Okeanos represents the comfort of compassion in the face of suffering, which Aeschylus implies is widespread among gods and humans alike.

Okeanos Quotes in Prometheus Bound

The Prometheus Bound quotes below are all either spoken by Okeanos or refer to Okeanos. 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:
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Prometheus Bound PDF

Okeanos Character Timeline in Prometheus Bound

The timeline below shows where the character Okeanos appears in Prometheus Bound. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prometheus Bound
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
The chorus, the daughters of Okeanos, arrive in a “winged chariot” and approach Prometheus. “Don’t be afraid,” they say. “We come... (full context)
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Suddenly, “on a winged horse,” Okeanos arrives. “I’ve traveled far to find you, Prometheus,” he says. “But even kinship aside, in... (full context)
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
“Now I will go / and see what I can do to set you free,” Okeanos says to Prometheus. “I envy you, that escaped all blame,” Prometheus replies, “though you risked... (full context)
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
Prometheus is thankful for Okeanos’s support, but he cannot let him go to Zeus. “So don’t concern yourself,” Prometheus says... (full context)
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
“Clearly your words are sending me back home,” Okeanos says to Prometheus. “So that your pity won’t draw hate against you,” Prometheus replies. Okeanos... (full context)