Prometheus Bound

by

Aeschylus

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Themes and Colors
Power vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering, Compassion, and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom and Confinement Theme Icon
Creation, Art, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Prometheus Bound, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Power vs. Reason

At the center of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound is the tyrannical power of Zeus, the king of the Olympians. Zeus as a character never actually makes it into the play, but his unrelenting power is a constant presence throughout. As the play opens, Prometheus, a Titan, is chained to the side of a mountain in Scythia, at the very edge of Greek civilization. Prometheus has stolen fire from the gods and given…

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Suffering, Compassion, and Hope

Prometheus, the title character and protagonist of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, is made to suffer for the entirety of the play. At the beginning, Prometheus is chained to the side of a mountain by Kratos and Bia, the servants of Zeus, and this is only the start of his misery. He will remain chained to the rock until the thunder and lightning that is Zeus’s wrath bring the mountain down around him…

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Freedom and Confinement

As the title of Aeschylus’s play suggests, the Titan Prometheus is bound to the side of a mountain by Zeus’s servants, Kratos and Bia. Shackled by chains and fear, Prometheus is made to endure endless suffering. He is exposed to the elements as he waits for Zeus’s thunderbolt to strike him down, at which time a ravenous eagle will peck at his “blackened liver.” Each night, Prometheus’s liver will regenerate only to…

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Prometheus Bound PDF

Creation, Art, and Sacrifice

Prometheus is the ultimate creator and artist in Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound. According to ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus is the creator of the human race, having molded them from clay. He gave humankind life, and when Zeus threatened to exterminate them, Prometheus gave humankind fire and reason to ensure their survival and continued progress towards civilization. Prometheus is also seen within Greek mythology as the father of human arts, sciences, and architecture, and his likeness…

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