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Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound


by Aeschylus

Prometheus Bound Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. In his own eyes, Prometheus is only doing the right thing in helping humans and standing up to Zeus. In the eyes of the Chorus, he's just being a big dummy. What perspective does the play want the audience to take?
  2. Does it seem like the audience is supposed to identify with Prometheus, or just feel pity? Is there a different character whom viewers can identify with?
  3. Why does Prometheus like humans so much, anyway? 
  4. The plot of Prometheus Bound can seem pretty random. Why do the daughters of Oceanus come to hang out with Prometheus? What brings their father, Oceanus himself, onto the scene? And what's up with Io just happening to walk by? Is there anything tying all these characters together, or is the play just a weird monster-mash? 
  5. Why do you think Prometheus Bound has remained such a popular play? 
  6. What is Prometheus Bound's overall message about power and tyranny? Is there a way to be powerful without being tyrannical? 
  7. Does Prometheus steal fire because he loves humans—or because he hates Zeus? Both? What's the difference, and does it actually matter for the play?
  8. In 1820, the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley published his own sequel to Prometheus Bound, entitled Prometheus Unbound. In Shelley's play, Prometheus triumphs over Zeus (there called Jupiter), and knocks him off his throne. If you were writing a sequel to Aeschylus's play, what would happen in it?

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