Spring 2013 The Power of Tyranny vs. the Power of Friendship In the play Prometheus Bound, two gods collide in a battle between power and intelligence. Prometheus aids Zeus in the defeat of the Titans offering his friendship. He later stands in Zeus’s way of destroying humans by giving them the gift of blind hope and fire. Zeus punishes him causing many other gods to mourn for him. The role of the social concerns in the play proves the tyranny of a higher power and the lengths someone will go to keep their loyalty. Zeus is the new ruler and he has his own laws where only he is free. His servants are extremely obedient and they believe that his views are their own. Might and Violent feel no sympathy towards Prometheus because they view what he did simply as lashing out against their ruler. Hepheastus, Oceanos and the Chorus, however, do feel pity for Prometheus and all visit him while he is strapped to the rock to suffer. Many attempts are made to persuade Prometheus to stand down to Zeus and show remorse for his actions for possible freedom but he refuses due to the loyalty he has to humans. None of his visitors understand why he is being so stubborn but he has a prophecy that he stays quiet about and he knows that eventually Zeus will be in danger and Prometheus will be the only one that can help him. Prometheus is in a hard place because even though he does not feel that he is in the wrong, there is no way around fate and the control that Zeus has. Everyone else observing the conflict feels pity for Prometheus but will not make attempts to help because they are aware of Zeus’s power and the belief he has that all must obey him. Because of the way the social classes are set up among the gods, Zeus controls everything until he is in need for something he cannot provide for himself. Prometheus’s loyalty is continuously displayed throughout the play. He describes how he made the humans what
Cited: Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound. Translated by David Grene, 1991. The University of Chicago Press. Lenardon, Robert J. Morford, Mark P.O. Sham, Michael. 2011. Classical Mythology Ninth Edition. Oxford University Press.