Ben Dutton's Reviews > Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
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Feb 07, 2012

it was ok
Read in December, 2008

This play, included with Aeschylus’s plays, is thought by modern scholarship to be of another author, perhaps earlier than Aeschylus. It is not as an affecting work as the other plays grouped with it and certainly not a patch on the Oresteian Trilogy.

It is a very static work, with Prometheus chained to a rock for most of its action. According to the play Prometheus is being punished not only for stealing fire, but also for thwarting Zeus’ plan to obliterate the human race. Against this backdrop the play is constructed through a series of philosophical and theological questions, with very little action.

The play itself enjoyed some acclaim at the time, and though the story of Prometheus has retained its allure to poets and playwrights – Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound uses some of this plays elements to tell his own story – the play itself comes across as restricted and at times unengaged. Of all of Aeschylus’s works I found this the least rewarding.

It is a work that left me with very little to say, and as I have fallen so far behind with my reviews (I have about ten more works to comment upon since I last posted) I shall move quickly on. Perhaps when my knowledge of this form of theatre is more accomplished I shall return and comment in more length.
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