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Prometheus Unbound

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,445 ratings  ·  63 reviews
One of the most ambitious dramatic poems ever written, Percy Bysshe Shelley's Prometheus Unbound tells the story of the Titan Prometheus who gave mankind the secret of fire in open defiance to the decrees of Zeus, and who, as punishment for this generosity, was chained to the Caucasus Mountains and exposed to horrible tortures. Inspired by the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1820)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,445 ratings  ·  63 reviews


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David Sarkies
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like poetry
Recommended to David by: I wanted to read some of Shelley's works
Shelves: philosophy
The War between Faith and Reason
13 April 2013

This is probably what you would consider to be Shelley's Magnus Opus. This would be his most ambitious work and also what he is probably most famous for (though at least one lecturer has suggested that as a poet Shelley is somewhat dwarfed by his wife Mary Shelley, who is also the author of Frankenstein). This is sort of a sequel to the Aeschylan play Prometheus Bound and I say sort of a sequel because we have fragments of the original sequel, but th
...more
Owlseyes on notre dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...
"For my part I would rather be damned with Plato and Lord Bacon, than go to Heaven with Paley and Malthus."

In Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, we see him by the end of the book being buried under the rocks that crumble, midst thunder and lightning. Prometheus, the god,(unjustly) bound to a rock by other gods, had though made a promise: “I swear in that moment there won’t be no fear “. He had a secret; “there will be a day when my value shall be needed.” The god wanted to give the fire to men...and g
...more
Anand
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finally decided to read this. I think this is truly fantastic. Very inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost - my favorite all time book; the verse is soaring and heightened in its blank verse, which has an authentic difficulty amid its grandiloquent flights of poetry.

The characterization is quite interesting. Prometheus, Hercules, quite interesting. I also am struck by the "fall of Jove" echo, and the recurrent optimism of a better hope amid the painful sufferings of Prometheus.

In many ways,
...more
Nora
I am a huge fan of mythology, particularly Classical mythology. While Shelley is undoubtedly a talented poet, I found his interpretation of the Roman pantheon to be off somehow. I wasn't convinced that the Jupiter and Mercury I was reading about were the deities that I had read about since childhood. The characters were all rather flat, as well, being designated as either wholly good or wholly evil.

Now I know Shelley was a Romantic poet, but I really cannot emphasize enough how flowery and unnec
...more
Akanksha Chattopadhyay
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First attemptSkipped through parts, glossed over choric songs, and I hate myself for that😥
I will definitely try and reread soon, for doubtless, this book is one I should love.
#stillaShelleyan
Reread Vastly improved experience. However, this new overly non-violent philosophy does not sit too well with me. Even Shelley himself cannot really stick with it. I give him another star owing to this endearing contradiction💛💖
Third Reading
Pure love! Another star added.
Bbrown
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-work
So there are a lot of ways to look at Shelley's Prometheus Unbound: as a continuation of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, as its own closet drama, or as a framework for Shelley to write poetry on nature and classical mythology. Unfortunately, in my opinion Prometheus Unbound fails no matter which of the three ways you look at it, and I'm actually left scratching my head at how badly Shelley messed up considering that he was handed such an interesting subject on a silver platter.

Aeschylus's Promethe
...more
Mohammad Ali
نخستین نکته ای که باید متذکر شد این است که عدم رضایت من از این اثر تقریبا به طور کامل به ترجمه ی آن مربوط است - اصل اثر شایسته ی سه ستاره یا حتی بیشتر است. ترجمه مطلقا قابل خواندن نیست. به این معنا که بدون مراجعه به متن اصلی ساختار جملات قابل تشخیص نیستند - به دلیل عدم رعایت نقطه گذاری و ... از یک سو و عدم استفاده از "را" و ... که نقش مفعولی و ... را بیان می کنند. مترجم هر خط شعر را گویی مستقل از قبل و بعد آن ترجمه کرده است.
افزون بر این ها اشتباهات در ترجمه هم وجود دارد مثلا در جایی آمده است:
Tho
...more
Adil El Azraki
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Expressed in outward things; but soon I looked,
And behold; thrones were kingless, and men walked
One with the other even as spirits do,
None frowned, none trampled; hate, disdain, or fear,
Self-love or self-contempt, on human brows
No more inscribed, as o’er the gate of hell,
‘’All hope abandon ye who enter here’’

Shelly continued Aeschylus’s story and transformed it into a symbolic drama about the origin of evil and its elimination. He wrote in his preface that Prometheus is, ‘’as it were, the type o
...more
Jordan
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
What a strange play! Totally very Romantic - loaaads of lush nature imagery which paints pretty pictures in my head!
And I love the idea that 'love' and equality can unlock the secrets of the universe and cause a wide-spread party, at the end of this even the moon is celebrating!

Odd, but pretty cool!
Biblio Curious
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama-poems
Shelley is a lexical, storytelling boss! Move over Byron, you've been whupped!

The nature imagery is powerful and animates each aspect of nature. It reminds me of Homer's Ancient animist themes from The Iliad but has what I'm guessing is the updated Romantic, idealist themes slant added.

Naturally, I've got to read the original, Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound next.
Kastoori
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far one of the most original, lofty poetic works I have read in a really long time. I wasn't a Shelley fan ever, I don't think I am a fan of his even now, but I certainly found this book Sublime in all senses of the word.

I like how he has morphed the myth that was penned into a play by Aeschylus and given it an alternate ending, more daring and emboldened by tempering it with quintessential Romantic sentiment. The poem is darkly poetic, grandiose and prophetic.

This is perhaps the only work o
...more
char
Apr 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: unfinished
i hated reading this in part because my edition was formatted in the most eyebleeding way but also because it's just not good. I guess since this is percy's masterpiece I never need to read anything else by him, which is a relief. anway i have no idea where my copy is so i'm never finishing it
Sarah
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: english-lit, plays
Hmm. I think that maybe my expectations were a tad too high for Prometheus Unbound. On one hand, it is an interesting follow-up to Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, but it is actually inferior to the earlier work. I know that Shelley was going for being Romantic but also taking from the style of the Greek dramatists, but I don't think that it worked for me. I usually would praise Shelley's beautiful use of the English language, but in the case of a dramatic work, I think that flowery verse obscures t ...more
John Devlin
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh the romanticism. Oh the purple prose. Oh the WTF are the characters chirping about over and over.
Sarah
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Weird AF.
Tereza
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preklad, britlit, poetry
Já ty romantiky prostě nemusím. Overflow of powerful feelings budiž, ale na tolik stránek v kuse?
H
Aug 31, 2010 added it
Shelves: drama-verse
notes from Mary in John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley: Complete Poetical Works, Modern Library: New York, 1932.

"He followed certain classical authorities in figuring Saturn as the good principle, Jupiter the usurping evil one, and Prometheus as the regenerator, who, unable to bring mankind back to primitive innocence, used knowledge as a weapon to defeat evil, by leading makind, beyond the state wherein they are sinless through ignorance, to that in which they are virtuous through wisdom." (295
...more
Candiss
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I don't have a formal review in my head for this one. I read it today in a waiting room while my son was knocked out having oral surgery, so I was, perhaps, a bit distracted.

The language was exquisite, if a bit florid at times, but this quibble can surely be pinned on the age of the piece. There were many flashes of imagery that jumped off the page, but the plot often meandered. Overall, there were parts I simply loved and parts I found my eyes trying to gloss over sleepily.

I would recommend t
...more
Fil
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics, poetry
So disappointed, for many reasons I thought it would be wonderful to read. I even prepared for this by reading 'Prometheus Bound' from Aeschylus not two weeks ago.

First thing that bothered me was the Latin names for everyone, sure they were the norm then but Shelley was influenced directly by the Greek play, why not use the Greek names? Then it was his style: aesthetically pleasing or not it was difficult to read, which made it difficult to like and that, in turn, made it a chore to finish. Las
...more
CheshRCat
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow.

Up until I read this, I didn't totally understand the people who go on about having their lives changed and their souls elevated and their spirit moved when they read a poem. Now I do. I just loved Prometheus Unbound–the language was so beautiful...

Interesting aside: a lot of the themes in this poem have a vaguely Communist-ish feel to them; a feel as though Shelley would have been a supporter of the Russian revolution (I mean, right up until everything went sideways, obviously). I wonder i
...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Nov 08, 2008 marked it as to-read
From a customer review on amazon.com: "Prometheus Unbound to be read along with Fredrick Schiller's "On the Aesthetic Education of Man," as a pair, a complement of two books. As you read, and approach the last part the book, suddenly you connect with the feeling of Schiller's poetry at the end of the Ninth Symphony (the chorous) and you are transported beyond the canopy of the stars...!"
Laura Collins
I read this for my coursework about the Role of the Writer in the Romantic period of Literature.
The play was pretty confused and I had to read a summary alongside it!
Don't have too much to say about this as I read in light of my essay topic and was mostly annotating key quotes and themes rather than reading it for the plot itself!

It was okay, glad that it's finished now anyway!
Vishnu
May 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just cannot bring myself to enjoy Shelley and it has nothing to do with the themes he has chosen here to attempt his art of poesy. I'd rather read Keats' Hyperion poems repeatedly than a single read of this work.
Markus
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Thrillingly interpreted by Shelly.
Jeremy
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
epic poems are always an impressive undertaking, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the base myth.
Sam Wurth
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a difficult book. It took me nearly 5 attempts, separated by several weeks or months, to finally complete the story with a sense of comprehension. Now that I am finished, I am happy to report it was worth it all. If I'm being honest, I am easily beguiled by imagery- but this poetry has some of the most astounding and outlandish visuals I have encountered in narrative form. Shelley takes the self-admittedly fantastical notion- manmade paradise on earth- and then brings us a wide-wandering ...more
Andrius
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy any aspect of this. Completely uninteresting to me in terms of its philosophy, ideas and politics, very poor in terms of characterisation (all of the characters and, by extension, the ideas they represent come across as one-dimensionally good or bad), and not very convincing in terms of the way it used mythology. There was some beautiful imagery, but I was not able to find a single beautiful line, and even that imagery was bogged down in a lot of completely unnecessary and uninsp ...more
Lucas
Apr 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
I really had to force myself to read this; I found it extremely tedious. Far from being the story of Prometheus and a celebration of his rebellion against Jupiter (why not Zeus?), what passes for a plot focuses relentlessly on minor characters who are enraptured in Romantic visions of the passing scenery. My basic objection to this premise is that it was neither as thrilling to read as the epic tale of Milton by which it purports to be inspired, nor as rapturous as Byron's or Clare's writing abo ...more
Edwin John Moorhouse Marr
I can certainly appreciate the beauty of this, and it is truly beautiful. I can also recognise its significance within Romanticism. But I am just not all that keen on Romantic verse, I struggle with it, I really have to fight to understand it, and for that reason, I can't give this a higher rating. I feel about it like I feel about Turner. I can see the beauty, the incredible and wonderful detail, and marvel at the scale and design, but unfortunately, it ultimately leaves me cold and pushes me a ...more
Krisz
Shelleytől olvastam pár verset és azok tetszettek (eszesek voltak), de a Prométeusz nem jött be. Az eredeti szöveget is megnéztem, hátha WS fordításával van gondom, de PBS archaizál, amit mai ember már nem olvas – ezeket a műveket sorról sorra érdemes venni, elgondolkodni, elemezni, magyarázni, utánanézni, de együltő helyben olvasásra sajnos már nem alkalmasak. Túl szóvirágos volt ez a költemény, nehezen jött át a mondanivaló.
(Az angol Delphi kiadás elején van egy jó kis elemzés, azt érdemes ról
...more
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Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyric poets of the English language. He is perhaps most famous for such anthology pieces as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and The Masque of Anarchy. However, his major works were long visionary poems including Alastor, Adonais, The Revolt of Islam, Prometheus Unbound a ...more
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