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Seize the Fire: A Version of Prometheus Bound

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  5,635 ratings  ·  163 reviews
For readers accustomed to the relatively undramatic standard translations of Prometheus Bound, this version by James Scully, a poet and winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize, and C. John Herington, one of the world's foremost Aeschylean scholars, will come as a revelation. Scully and Herington accentuate the play's true power, drama, and relevance to modern times. Aeschylus or ...more
Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published (first published -480)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I'm shocked to see that only one of my Goodreads friends has read this play. This is my favorite work of ancient Greek literature. The story has some pretty deep meaning. It's really the inverse of the Fall From Grace. Instead of the human desire for knowledge resulting in the perverse punishment of Original Sin as issued by that sadistic toddler running the show in the Old Testament, we find a tale of heroic sacrifice which results in the illuminating powers of reason and curiosity being bestow ...more
Luís Blue B.
Prometheus Bound is part of a trilogy called "The Prometheus". Only this piece, that I just finished reading, is presented as the only piece known of the three. The other two, which are missing are "Prometheus Unbound" and "Prometheus Liberator of Fire". It is stated further that "Prometheus Bound", according to the publisher of the work and in chronological order, is the first of three parts ordered sequentially at the time of its creation. The election takes place in Scythia, on Mount Caucasus ...more
Owlseyes



Bound to a rock, Prometheus claims for help and understanding; for how long?... imprisoned.
He’s alone; someone has locked his feet and hands. He implores the Divine Ether, the winds …mother Earth, the Sun: “look at the suffering imposed upon a god”.
He gets an explanation from the Oceanides who inform him that Olympus has new rulers; Zeus laws are absolute; there’s no forgiveness for the deeds of Prometheus who once brought to humanity the divine fire: all arts knowledge.
Zeus, now is the king.
...more
Lucas


I read a few reviews before composing mine, just to see how others took this story. They vary quite a bit, but I found particularly amusing the 2-star reviews that said things like "Uhhh...this guy got chained to a rock and
was still chained at the end. Lame!"

I liked this book, but mainly because even though I'm a mythology junkie who knew the Prometheus story, I didn't really get it until I read this.

It would appear that Prometheus is the personification (or rather, deification) of human ingenu
...more
Alex
We know the basic story of Prometheus: he gives fire to humans, is punished.

The story in Prometheus Bound is a little more complicated. One of the old school Titans, when their descendants (the Olympian Gods) under Zeus rebel, Prometheus tries to help the Titans; they spurn his help and he then changes sides. But Zeus turns out to be no more beneficent a ruler than Kronos was, so Prometheus once again switches, siding decisively with the common folk - humans - and giving them, along with fire, m
...more
Ben
I think we're all at least vaguely familiar with the myth of Prometheus: he steals fire and gives it to man, whose race Zeus (the leader of the Titans) was planning to destroy, and receives a punishment that might just be considered cruel and unusual by today's standards--he is tied to a rock and his liver is gnawed away at every day by an eagle, only to regenerate every night so that the same torture can be inflicted day after day. That's one of the problems with being immortal, I suppose. In t ...more
Max Maxwell
Why do people bitch and whine about having to read greek drama? Outside of the ubiquitous Antigone , this is my first encounter with Greek drama, and I loved it. Usually translating involves compromising a certain amount of poetry in lieu of clarity; see Stephen Mitchell's Book of Job for an illustration of this. In this edition of Prometheus Bound, there's nothing inaccessible; the text and the presentation and typography are straightforward. I didn't struggle with it at all. In fact, i was st ...more
David Sarkies
Sep 28, 2013 David Sarkies rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Greek Tragedy
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: tragedy
I am not really sure if I am going to make my goal of reading 40 new books this year, particularly since I have been bogged down with a silly collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I will give it a shot, and hopefully complete it. As I indicated, the 40 books will have to be new books of a decent length, however I will include ancient plays as being one book, however the catch is, I have already read pretty much all of them (with the exception of some Roman plays by Terrance and ...more
Clif Hostetler
When Aeschylus wrote this play 2500 years ago could he have anticipated that people would still be talking about it this many years later? Goethe, Shelley and Karl Marx all referenced the story of Prometheus in their writing. Wikipedia's discussion of the Promethean myth in modern culture has many examples where book titles, names used in science, game names, works of art, and numerous other examples where the name Prometheus has been used. With such a famous name, this story deserves to be read ...more
علی
یکی از زیباترین تراژدی های اولیه ی یونان باستان، که سرشار از گفتگوهای محکم است. پرومته ئوس که یکی از تیتان هاست، به جزای دزدیدن آتش از خدایان (المپ) و سپردن آن به انسان، از سوی زئوس به زنجیر کشیده می شود. یکی از خدایان المپ به همراهی مردم (دسته ی کر) از پرومته ئوس جانبداری می کند. پرومته ئوس از طریق "یو" یکی از الهه ها می فهمد که یکی از اسلاف "یو" او را نجات خواهد داد. زئوس به دلیل افشا نکردن این راز، پرومته ئوس را شکنجه می دهد و ...
"پرومته در زنجیر" را شاهرخ مسکوب با نام مستعار "م. بهیار" به فا
...more
Don
Well, I successfully read a whole play by Aeschylus in Greek and lived to tell the tale.

Aeschylus' grammar was less difficult than I thought it would be, but man - I do not know the vocabulary at all! I felt like I had to turn to the LSJ every other word in some passages.

My reading of the play is not sympathetic to Prometheus. He is punished for abandoning his own (twice): first, he abandons the Titans, then all the immortals. And rather than take the opportunities to apologize or make amends (v
...more
rr
I first read this tragedy more than twenty years ago. I remember loving it then, but I had forgotten it over the years--in graduate school so much focus is placed on Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy that you don't spend much time on his other works. This semester I assigned Prometheus Bound for my Mythology class, and I was astounded by it. This is envelope-pushing drama at its best: tradition-questioning (even cosmos-questioning) moves that we usually associate with Euripides are here in high form. ...more
Jacob
Prometheus Bound is a play written by the Greek playwright Aeschylus detailing the punishment of the Titan Prometheus. Prometheus is said to be the one who gave fire as a gift to humanity after stealing it from the god Hephaestus, and was then punished for his actions by Zeus, the king of the gods. Prometheus then began taunting Zeus, who further punished him by sentencing Prometheus to have his organs eaten by a vulture daily. Aeschylus wrote this play in order to teach the people of Greece a ...more
Elias Vasilis Kontaxakis
Do you think I will crouch before your Gods,—so new—and tremble? I am far from that.”

There’s one thing all liberal peoples have in common: unadulterated defiance against unjust power. To be bloody, but unbowed. The first great playwright of the world, the Greek Aeschylus, saw in his countryman’s fight against imperial Persia the defiance of freemen. He witnessed firsthand the desperate but resolute plight of those fighting against slavery of spirit, not just body. But to fail—to be conquered by
...more
Realini
Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης, Promētheus Desmōtēs

First of all, I was not keen on the play, albeit the myth is intriguing.
Therefore, if you wish any opinion on this play, you should look for authorized sources, especially since this is a note more on the idea, than the play itself.

On one hand, Prometheus is celebrated and still in vogue somehow. There was a blockbuster movie with that name, made only recently. It was a Hollywood mega production, with big names and similar produ
...more
Mika Auramo
Aiskhyloksen näytelmä Kahlehdittu Prometheus (suom. Maarit Kaimio) syventää Prometheus-myyttiä. Näytelmä lienee trilogiaksi tarkoitetun kokonaisuuden ensimmäinen osa. Vapautettu Prometheus ja Prometheus tulenkantaja ovat tuhoutuneet.

Näytelmän keskiössä on Prometheus, jonka Zeus on tuominnut kahlehdittavaksi Kaukasuksen vuoristoon titaanien hävittyä sodan Olympon jumalille. Voima, Väkivalta yhdessä seppäjumala Hefaistoksen kanssa kytkevät Prometheuksen skyytialaiseen vuorenrinteeseen paksuin kah
...more
Hadeel Hossam El-Din Moustafa
حقيقة وكبداية أستمتعت بترجمة د.إسحق عبيد كعمل فني مستقل بذاته :) !!
المسرحية تدور ف الأصل حول الصراع بين آلهة جبل الأوليمب .. تحديداً بين كبيرهم "زيوس" الطاغية الذي قرر محو جنس البشر وخلق جنس جديد بعد إستيلاؤه عالحكم من أبيه و "بروميثيوس" الإله المحب للبشر
وتصور المصير الذي لاقاه بروميثيوس نتيجة لإختطافه شعلة النار المقدسة وتقديمها للبشر وتعليمه البشر كافة الفنون وسبل الحياة ليصبحوا أقوى ..
يتضح عند الكاتب نزعة ثورية ضد السلطة الإلهية لجبل الأوليمب بسبب فسادها اللامتناهي وتجبرها على باقي المخلوقات
...more
mohamed mostafa
Prometheus Bound is a powerful statement of the right to resist tyranny, as well as the duty to do so.it shows the eternal spirit of revolutionary: "do any thing you want you will not break my spirit you will not make me tell you what you want".

1- at first Tragedy in the Greek drama happens to grand figures—Prometheus, Oedipus, or Agamemnon. The lesson here is that if a great figure can experience such a reversal of fortune, it is even more likely to happen
to an ordinary person. Tragedy is abou
...more
Sarah
Since this play is apparently one of the more well-known of Aeschylus' works, I guess I'd better talk about Prometheus Bound a bit and why I didn't see it as the ultimate masterpiece that some peoeple see it as. In comparison, I feel that it falls flat of the true level of talent accomplished in The Oresteia for a few reasons.

Firstly, the length, although standard for these kinds of plays, irks me in this particular case. It is very hard to abbreviate the story of Prometheus into one six or seve
...more
Andrew
A bunch of Gods ticked off with each other, now that is a great Greek Tragedy. Not to mention that the only mortal in sight is Io, who is part cow. Prometheus is a great character and a tricky part for any actor considering that it requires being chained to a rock for an hour. Worth reading and seeing if you get the opportunity
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maui Island
2500 years old and going strong. Filled with hope for humanity. Prometheus, the character and the tragedy, is a beacon for man's struggle for growing, learning, and thriving through all adversity. His greatest gift? "I sowed in them blind hopes." My favorite Greek tragedy.
Brittney
I am a fan of Greek dramas, but I find that often women are portrayed overtly negatively. As a woman this can be disheartening. In this play however, I did not find myself objecting to the portrayal of women. True there are few in the text, but there are few characters in general. The voice of the chorus is feminine, and both empathetic, observant and rebellious, at appropriate times. Likewise the depictions of Io as the only other female character I found not insulting. Yes she is the 'damsel i ...more
Carolina
Como siempre, Zeus es experto dando castigos a los que lo desobedecen... Ah, y una vez más confirma que es un jodido mujeriego (espero no me caiga un rayo por decir eso) xDDDD
Nikki
If I remember correctly, this was a bit too modern a translation. Something about the phrase "cocky bastard" just doesn't scream ancient Greece to me.
Will Bass
Read the Grene translation. Incredible. How can a new government be formed justly? Here we see that justice does not exist when it is the whim of one who is new to ruling, without laws, judging only from custom. Coercing others with Might and the silent threat of Violence. How can the free, insolent in the vastness of his, seemingly unending, power pity the slave? Or perhaps that justice must be judged in the new government (Zeus IS justice) and not by the old (Prometheus' justice). Zeus will re ...more
Denislav Yanev
Even though the play is an early piece of drama and the characters are not full-blooded, but are more in the likelihood of characters - ideas, "Prometheus Bound" sounds very modern. The burden of being punished because of an act of resistance against a tyrant and at the same time not being understood by the others around you; having to suffer knowing that only after thousands of years will the people you sacrificed your well-being for realize what you did and what would have been, if you hadn't ...more
Jeremy
It's a shame only part of this tragedy remains. Way to drop the ball, western civilization.
Keith
Greek mythology is full of men struggling against the gods. And losing. In Prometheus Bound, Prometheus, a fellow god, vies with all-powerful Zeus for the benefit of mankind – and for his trouble he’s nailed to a rock.

Aeschylus presents Zeus as a tyrant – attempting to destroy mankind, raping Io and leaving her to Juno’s harsh fate, suppressing dissent, and intimidating foes. As the preface to the Oxford edition notes, Zeus “foreshadows the methods of twentieth century totalitarianism” inflicti
...more
Bbrown
I can see Prometheus Bound serving as an excellent first play in a trilogy, but unfortunately any sequels to this work have been lost to the sands of time. As a standalone work Prometheus Bound has some fascinating characteristics, but spends so much time on long monologues of exposition and establishing conflicts that never come to fruition that it doesn't succeed in isolation.

As the title would suggest the titan Prometheus takes center stage in this play, the work opening after he has already
...more
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990
Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC) was an ancient Greek playwright. He is often recognized as the father or the founder of tragedy, and is the earliest of the three Greek tragedians whose plays survive extant, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict among them; previously, characters interacted only with the cho ...more
More about Aeschylus...
The Oresteia Agamemnon (Oresteia, #1) Prometheus Bound and Other Plays The Persians Eumenides

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“For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life.” 80 likes
“For somehow this is tyranny's disease, to trust no friends.” 51 likes
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