Prometheus Unbound

by

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Ione Character Analysis

Ione is an Oceanid, or sea nymph, and is the daughter of the Ocean and the sister of Panthea and Asia. Like Panthea and Asia, Ione is portrayed as a compassionate nature spirit who is deeply affected by the punishment of Prometheus. Ione is portrayed as younger and more childlike than Panthea and Asia. She is described sleeping in an underwater cave with Panthea, with her arms wrapped around her sister like a child, and her role in the plot is less central than the role assigned to Panthea and Asia as she is not party to the dreams that they share and does not accompany them to visit the Demogorgon. Instead, Ione is depicted as a passive observer of Prometheus’s torture, one who is sympathetic with Prometheus’s struggle but who can do little to affect the outcome of events. She and Panthea provide a perspective through which the reader can witness Prometheus’s struggle as he is tormented by Furies and soothed by good spirits sent by the Earth, while he is chained to the mountain in Act 1.

Ione Quotes in Prometheus Unbound

The Prometheus Unbound quotes below are all either spoken by Ione or refer to Ione. 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:
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W.W. Norton edition of Prometheus Unbound published in 2002.
Act 1 Quotes

[…] Nature’s sacred watchwords—they
Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry.
The nations thronged around, and cried aloud
As with one voice, “Truth, liberty and love!”
Suddenly fierce confusion fell from Heaven
Among them—there was strife, deceit and fear;
Tyrants rushed in, and did divide the spoil.
This was the shadow of the truth I saw.

Related Characters: Prometheus (speaker), Panthea, Ione
Page Number: 1.648-655
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

Thrones, altars, judgement-seats and prisons; wherein
And beside which, by wretched men were borne
Sceptres, tiaras, swords and chains, and tomes
Of reasoned wrong glozed on by ignorance,
Were like those monstrous and barbaric shapes,
The ghosts of a no more remembered fame,
Which from their unworn obelisks look forth
In triumph o’er the palaces and tombs
Of those who were their conquerors, mouldering round.
Those imaged to the pride of Kings and Priests
A dark yet mighty faith, a power as wide
As is the world it wasted, and are now
But an astonishment; even so the tools
And emblems of its last captivity
Amid the dwellings of the peopled Earth,
Stand, not o’erthrown, but unregarded now.

Related Characters: Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, Ione
Related Symbols: The Hours
Page Number: 3.4.164-179
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4 Quotes

We come from the mind
Of human kind
Which was late so dusk and obscene and blind;
Now tis an Ocean
Of clear emotion,
A Heaven of serene and mighty motion.

From that deep Abyss
Of wonder and bliss
Whose caverns are chrystal palaces;
From those skiey towers
Where Thought’s crowned Powers
Sit watching your dance, ye happy Hours!

Related Characters: Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, Ione
Related Symbols: The Hours
Page Number: 4.93-104
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Prometheus Unbound LitChart as a printable PDF.
Prometheus Unbound PDF

Ione Character Timeline in Prometheus Unbound

The timeline below shows where the character Ione appears in Prometheus Unbound. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Prometheus is bound to a mountaintop in the Indian Caucasus. Panthea and Ione, two sea nymphs, are seated at his feet. It is dark but near dawn. Prometheus... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
...repeat it so that Jupiter himself cannot punish anything on earth for speaking the words. Ione and Panthea tremble with fear as the Phantasm approaches: “clothed in dark purple” with a... (full context)
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...wishes any “living thing to suffer.” The Earth cries out that Prometheus is vanquished, but Ione contradicts her and says that it is nothing “but some passing spasm.” She points out... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...this man bleeding and a hopeful nation transformed into a violent, murderous regime. Panthea and Ione also see these images, when they glance up from where they are hiding, and at... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...tell him of a prophecy of love and hope that “begins and ends in” him. Ione sees two doves, and she and Panthea weep over their song. The spirits tell Prometheus... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
On the mountaintop in the Caucuses, Hercules unchains Prometheus. Asia, Ione, Panthea, and the Spirit of the Hour gather around him. Prometheus tells Asia and her... (full context)
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
 Prometheus instructs Ione to give the Spirit of the Hour the “curved shell” that was a wedding gift... (full context)
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
...up a childlike messenger, the Spirit of the Earth, to lead Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, and Ione to this cave, where there once was a temple in which people worshipped Prometheus as... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, and Ione are gathered at their cave in the forest with the Spirit of the Earth. Panthea... (full context)
Act 4
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Panthea and Ione are sleeping outside Prometheus’s cave. They wake to hear a chorus of spirits passing by.... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
...disappear but their song continues to spread through the world in “Aeolian modulations.” Panthea and Ione see a small, floating islet, around which a sleeping infant, the Spirit of the Earth,... (full context)
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Panthea and Ione rise when they hear the voice of the Demogorgon addressing the world. The Earth and... (full context)