Prometheus Bound


Aeschylus, creator; Aeschylus with an English translation Vol I. Smyth, Herbert Weir, 1857- 1937, editor, translator. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.: 1922.

  1. but do not attack my stubborn will and my harsh mood.
  1. Let us be gone, since he has got the fetters on his limbs. Exit
  1. There now, indulge your insolence, keep on wresting from the gods their honors to give them to creatures of a day. Are mortals able to lighten your load of sorrow?
  2. Falsely the gods call you Prometheus,[*](Such etymologizing play (Pro-metheus, Fore-thought) was a serious matter to the Greeks, who found in the name of a person a significant indication of his nature or his fate. Unlike Shakespeare, Aeschylus saw nothing even half-humorous in such etymological analysis; and elsewhere, in playing on the names Apollo, Clytaemestra, Polynices, the nomen is an omen.)for you yourself need forethought to free yourself from this handiwork. Exeunt Power and Force
  1. O you bright sky of heaven, you swift-winged breezes, you river-waters, and
  2. infinite laughter of the waves of ocean, O universal mother Earth , and you, all-seeing orb of the sun, to you I call! See what I, a god, endure from the gods.
  3. Look, with what shameful torture I am racked and must wrestle
  4. throughout the countless years of time apportioned me. Such is the ignominious bondage the new commander of the blessed has devised against me. Woe! Woe! For present misery and misery to come I groan, not knowing where
  5. it is fated that deliverance from these sorrows shall arise.
  6. And yet, what am I saying? All that is to be I know full well and in advance, nor shall any affliction come upon me unforeseen. I must bear my allotted doom as lightly as I can, knowing that
  7. the might of Necessity permits no resistance.Yet I am not able to speak nor be silent about my fate. For it is because I bestowed good gifts on mortals that this miserable yoke of constraint has been bound upon me. I hunted out and stored in fennel stalk the stolen
  8. source of fire that has proved a teacher to mortals in every art and a means to mighty ends. Such is the offence for which I pay the penalty, riveted in fetters beneath the open sky.
  9. Ha! Behold!
  10. What murmur, what scent wings to me, its source invisible, heavenly or human, or both? Has someone come to this crag at the edge of the world to stare at my sufferings—or with what motive? Behold me, an ill-fated god, chained,
  11. the foe of Zeus,
  12. hated of all who enter the court of Zeus, because of my very great love for mankind. Ha! What’s this? What may be this rustling stir of birds I hear
  13. again nearby? The air whirs with the light rush of wings. Whatever approaches causes me alarm. The Daughters of Oceanus enter on a winged car
  1. Do not fear! For our group has come in swift rivalry of wings to this crag
  2. as friend to you, having won our father’s consent as best we might. The swift-coursing breezes bore me on; for the reverberation of the clang of iron pierced the depths of our caves and drove my grave modesty away in fright;
  3. unsandalled I have hastened in a winged car.