The Prometheus of ?schylus

The Prometheus of ?schylus

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Excerpt from The Prometheus of ?schylus: With Notes, for the Use of Colleges in the United States

Force and Might, two giant ministers of Jove, (see Hesiod's Theogony, accompanied by Vulcan, appear upon the stage; Force is a mute spectator, and his office may be conceived to have been that of dragging the struggling God to the place. But Might oversees the fulfilment of the sentence; and while Vulcan drives the nails, and Clasps the chains, he chides the tardiness of the work, and taunts Pro metheus with the folly of his opposition to the Gods. After these executioners have withdrawn, the Chorus of sea nymphs (probably fifteen in number), hearing the sound of driven steel, assemble and condole with their kinsman they are the representatives of that honest but weak class, whose open sympathy with the oppressed is beneath the tyrant's notice. Oceanus, their father, next appears, gives whole some advice to Prometheus, and offers to intercede with Jove in his behalf. The offer is scorned, and indeed was made rather for form's sake, than from any belief that it would be accepted. Oceanus is one who feels a degree of kindness for the oppressed, but wishes mainly to keep himself out of danger, and to stand well with both parties. After his de parture, Prometheus, as one who has resolved to endure his evils, and who seeks to occupy his mind with other thoughts, tells the Chorus the blessings which he had conferred upon mankind by the gift of fire. Thus he calls forth our inter. Est, and shows the malignity of Jupiter.

A new sufferer now appears. Lo, the victim of lust and vengeance, driven through the wildest parts of the earth in an altered form, passes the spot where Prometheus is chain ed. He predicts her future course, and relates her past wanderings. She leaves the place, goaded 'by the same maddening spectre of Argos which drove her thither. The dramatic connection of this part with the rest of the play is somewhat remote. It lies partly in the fact that Prometheus and Io are victims of the same oppression; but chie?y in the decree of fate, that one of her descendants, Hercules.

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