Prometheus Bound



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Typhon Character Analysis

A monster serpent within Greek mythology. Typhon’s origins are disputed; some sources claim Typhon is the offspring of Hera while others claim he is the son of Kronos. According to Greek mythology, Typhon challenged Zeus for control of the universe, but Zeus struck him down with his thunderbolt. Zeus buried Typhon deep beneath Mount Etna (“Aetna” in the play), an active volcano in Sicily. Aeschylus references the myth of Typhon as an example of Zeus’s power and his ability to imprison others, both literally and metaphorically.

Typhon Quotes in Prometheus Bound

The Prometheus Bound quotes below are all either spoken by Typhon or refer to Typhon . 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

Typhon Character Timeline in Prometheus Bound

The timeline below shows where the character Typhon 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
...bear “upon his shoulders / the weight of heaven and earth” for all eternity, and Typhon, the “hundred-headed monster,” who challenged Zeus and now is “a sprawling, helpless form” deep “beneath... (full context)