Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound

(1918 words)
  • Florence Yoon (University of British Columbia)

Overview and authorship

Prometheus Bound tells the story of the punishment of the Titan Prometheus for giving fire to mankind, which is also familiar to us from two accounts by the archaic poet Hesiod. The play opens with the binding of Prometheus, and concludes with a cataclysm in which he is swallowed by the earth. The plot of the play is what Aristotle calls simple; there are no reversals of fortune.

The play was staged, like most Greek tragedies, using three speaking, masked, male actors plus the chorus of twelve or fifteen. One actor would have played Prometheus, while the other two would have appeared in different masks to play the roles of Power and Hephaestus, Oceanus, Io, and Hermes.

The play is …

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Yoon, Florence. "Prometheus Bound". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2014
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]