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. Yes, truly, I am his debtor and I should repay favor to him.
  1. You taunt me as though, indeed, I were a child.
  1. And are you not a child and even more witless than a child if you expect to learn anything from me? There is no torment or device by which
  2. Zeus shall induce me to utter this until these injurious fetters are loosed. So then, let his blazing lightning be hurled, and with the white wings of the snow and thunders of earthquake let him confound the reeling world.
  3. For nothing of this shall bend my will even to tell at whose hands he is fated to be hurled from his sovereignty.
  1. Look now whether this course seems to profit you.
  1. Long ago has this my course been foreseen and resolved.
  1. Bend your will, perverse fool, oh bend your will at last
  2. to wisdom in face of your present sufferings.
  1. In vain you trouble me, as though it were a wave you try to persuade. Never think that, through terror at the will of Zeus, I shall become womanish and, with hands upturned, aping woman’s ways,
  2. shall importune my greatly hated enemy to release me from these bonds. I am far, far from that.
  1. I think that by speaking much I will only speak in vain; for you are not soothed nor are you softened by my entreaties. You take the bit in your teeth like a new-harnessed
  2. colt and struggle against the reins. Yet it is a paltry device that prompts your vehemence, for in the foolish-minded mere self-will of itself avails less than anything at all. But if you will not be won to belief by my words,
  3. think of what a tempest and a towering wave of woe shall break upon you past escape. First, the Father will shatter this jagged cliff with thunder and lightning-flame, and will entomb your frame, while the rock shall still hold you clasped in its embrace.
  4. But when you have completed a long stretch of time, you shall come back again to the light. Then indeed the winged hound of Zeus, the ravening eagle, coming an unbidden banqueter the whole day long, with savage appetite shall tear your body piecemeal into great rents and feast his fill
  5. upon your liver until it is black with gnawing. Look for no term of this your agony until some god shall appear to take upon himself your woes and of his own free will descend into the sunless realm of Death and the dark deeps of Tartarus.
  6. Therefore be advised, since this is no counterfeited vaunting but utter truth; for the mouth of Zeus does not know how to utter falsehood, but will bring to pass every word. May you consider warily and reflect, and never deem
  7. stubbornness better than wise counsel.
  1. To us, at least, Hermes seems not to speak untimely; for he bids you to lay aside your stubbornness and seek the good counsel of wisdom. Be advised! It is shameful for the wise to persist in error.
  1. No news to me, in truth, is the message this fellow has proclaimed so noisily.Yet for enemy to suffer ill from enemy is no disgrace. Therefore let the lightning’s forked curl be cast upon my head and let the sky