Note for TRAD 104 with Professor Freeble at UA
Note for TRAD 104 with Professor Freeble at UA
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Date Created: 02/06/15
PROMETHEUS BOUND TRANSLATED BY H W SMYTH DRAMATIS PERSONAE POWER and FORCE HEPHAESTUS PROMETHEUS CHORUS of the Daughters of Oceanus OCEANUS IO daughter of Inachus HERMES SCENE A rocky height overlooking the ocean in the uttermost parts of Scythia TIME Mythical ARGUMENT When Cronus the son of Uranus was king in heaven revolt against his rule arose among the gods The Olympians strove to dethrone him in favour of Zeus his son the Titans children of Uranus and Earth championing the ancient order of violence warred against Zeus and his partisans Prometheus himself a Titan forewarned by his oracular mother Earth or Themis for she bore either name that the victory should be won by craft whereas his brethren placed their sole reliance on brute force rallied with her to the side of Zeus and secured his success His triumph once assured the new monarch of heaven proceeded forthwith to apportion to the gods their various functions and prerogatives but the wretched race of man he purposed to annihilate and create another in its stead This plan was frustrated by Prometheus who in compassion on their feebleness showed them the use of fire which he had stolen in their behoof and taught them all arts and handicrafts For this rebellion against the newly founded sovereignty of Zeus the friend of mankind was doomed to suffer chastisement he must pass countless ages riveted to a crag on the shores of Ocean in the trackless waste of Scythia But suffering of body or of min might not quell his spirit though he is possessed of the sad privilege of immortality Conscious that he had erred he is nevertheless fortified by indignation that he had been made the victim of tyranny and ing ratitude Nor is he unprovided with a means to strengthen his resistance and to force the hand of his oppressor whose despotic power has one point of attack The Titan is possessed of a fateful secret which must be revealed to Zeus if he is not to be hurled from his dominion as his father had been before him The despot contemplates marriage with Thetis and should it be brought to pass the son to be born to him is to prove mightier than his sire This secret told Prometheus by his mother he will not disclose till in the lapse of ages Zeus consents to release him from his ig nominious bonds rather than part with it on other terms he defies the thunder and lightning of the lord of Olympus and amid the crashing world is hurled to Tartarus to the last protesting against the injustice of his doom Enter Power and Force bringing with them the captive Prometheus also Hephaestus POWER 1 To earth39s remotest limit we come to the Scythian land an untrodden solitude And now Hephaestus yours is the charge to observe the mandates laid upon you by the Father to clamp this miscreant upon the high craggy rocks in shackles of binding adamant that cannot be broken For your own flower flashing fire source of all arts he has purloined and bestowed upon mortal creatures Such is his offence for this he is bound to make requital to the gods so that he may learn to bear with the sovereignty of Zeus and cease his man loving ways HEPHAESTUS 12 Power and Force for you indeed the behest of Zeus is now fulfilled and nothing remains to stop you But for me I do not have the nerve myself to bind with force a kindred god upon this rocky cleft assailed by cruel winter Yet come what may I am constrained to summon courage to this deed for it is perilous to disregard the commandments of the Father 18 Lofty minded son of Themis who counsels straight against my will no less than yours I must rivet you with brazen bonds no hand can loose to this desolate crag where neither voice nor form of mortal man shall you perceive but scorched by the sun39s bright beams you shall lose the fair bloom of your flesh And glad you shall be when spangled robed night shall veil his brightness and when the sun shall scatter again the frost of morning Evermore the burden of your present ill shall wear you out for your deliverer is not yet born 28 Such is the prize you have gained for your championship of man For god though you are you did not fear the wrath of the gods but you bestowed honors upon mortal creatures beyond their due Therefore on this joyless rock you must stand sentinel erect sleepless your knee unbent And many a groan and unavailing lament you shall utter for the heart of Zeus is hard and everyone is harsh whose power is new POWER 36 Well why delay and excite pity in vain Why do you not detest a god most hateful to the gods since he has betrayed your prerogative to mortals HEPHAESTUS 39 A strangely potent tie is kinship and companionship as well POWER 40 I agree yet to refuse to obey the commands of the Father is this possible Do you not fear that more HEPHAESTUS 42 Yes you are ever pitiless and steeped in insolence POWER 43 Yes for it does not good to bemoan this fellow Stop wasting your labor at an unprofitable task HEPHAESTUS 45 Oh handicraft that I hate so much POWER 46 Why hate it Since in truth your craft is in no way to blame for these present troubles HEPHAESTUS 48 Nevertheless i wish it had fallen to another39s lot POWER 49 Every job is troublesome except to be the commander of gods no one is free except Zeus HEPHAESTUS 51 I know it by this task Icannot deny it POWER 52 Hurry then to cast the fetters about him so that the Father does not see you loitering HEPHAESTUS 54 Well there then The bands are ready as you may see POWER 55 Cast them about his wrists and with might strike with your hammer rivet him to the rocks HEPHAESTUS 57 There The work is getting done and not improperly POWER 58 Strike harder clamp him tight leave nothing loose for he is wondrously clever at finding a way even out of desperate straits HEPHAESTUS 60 This arm at least is fixed permanently POWER 61 Now rivet this one too and securely so that he may learn for all his cleverness that he is a fool compared to Zeus HEPHAESTUS 63 None but he could justly blame my work POWER 64 Now drive the adamantine wedge39s stubborn edge straight through his chest with your full force HEPHAESTUS 66 Alas Prometheus I groan for your sufferings POWER 67 What Shrinking again and groaning over the enemies of Zeus Take care so that the day does not come when you shall grieve for yourself HEPHAESTUS 69 You see a spectacle grievous for eyes to behold POWER 70 I see this man getting his deserts Come cast the girths about his sides HEPHAESTUS 72 I must do this spare me your needless ordering POWER 73 Indeed I39ll order you yes and more I39ll hound you on Get down below and ring his legs by force HEPHAESTUS 75 There now The work39s done and without much labor POWER 76 Now hammer the piercing fetters with your full force for the appraiser of our work is severe HEPHAESTUS 78 The utterance of your tongue matches your looks POWER 79 Be softhearted then but do not attack my stubborn will and my harsh mood HEPHAESTUS 81 Let us be gone since he has got the fetters on his limbs Exit POWER 82 There now indulge your insolence keep on wresting from the gods their honors to give them to creatures of a day Are mortals able to lighten your load of sorrow Falsely the gods call you Prometheusl for you yourself need forethought to free yourself from this handiwork Exeunt Power and Force PROMETHEUS 88 0 you brig ht sky of heaven you swift winged breezes you river waters and infinite laughter of the waves of ocean 0 universal mother Earth and you all seeing orb of the sun to you I call See what I a god endure from the gods 94 Look with what shameful torture 1 am racked and must wrestle throughout the countless years of time apportioned me Such is the ig nominious bondage the new commander of the blessed has devised against me Woe Woe For present misery and misery to come I groan not knowing where it is fated that deliverance from these sorrows shall arise 100 And yet what am I saying All that is to be I know full well and in advance nor shall any affliction come upon me unforeseen I must bear my allotted doom as lightly as I can knowing that the might of Necessity permits no resistanceYet I am not able to speak nor be silent about my fate For it is because I bestowed good gifts on mortals that this miserable yoke of constraint has been bound upon me I hunted out and stored in fennel stalk the stolen source of fire that has proved a teacher to mortals in every art and a means to mighty ends Such is the offence for which I pay the penalty riveted in fetters beneath the open sky 115 Ha Behold What murmur what scent wings to me its source invisible heavenly or human or both Has someone come to this crag at the edge of the world to stare at my sufferings or with what motive Behold me an ill fated god chained the foe of Zeus hated of all who enter the court of Zeus because of my very great love for mankind Ha What39s this What may be this rustling stir of birds I hear again nearby The air whirs with the light rush of wings Whatever approaches causes me alarm The Daughters of Oceanus enter on a winged car CHORUS 127 Do not fear For our group has come in swift rivalry of wings to this crag as friend to you having won our father39s consent as best we might The swift coursing breezes bore me on for the reverberation of the clang of iron pierced the depths of our caves and drove my grave modesty away in fright unsandalled I have hastened in a winged car PROMETHEUS 136 Alas Alas Offspring of fruitful Tethys and of him who with his sleepless current encircles the whole earth children of your father Oceanus behold see with what fetters upon the summit crag of this ravine I am to hold my unenviable watch CHORUS 144 I see Prometheus and over my eyes a mist of tears and fear spread as I saw your body withering ig nominiously upon this rock in these bonds of adamant For there are new rulers in heaven and Zeus governs with lawless customs that which was mighty before he now brings to nothing PROMETHEUS 152 Oh if only he had hurled me below the earth yes beneath Hades the entertainer of the dead into impassable Tartarus and had ruthlessly fastened me in fetters no hand can loose so that neither god nor any other might have gloated over this agony I feel But now a miserable plaything of the winds I suffer pains to delight my enemies CHORUS 160 Who of the gods is so hard of heart as to exult in this Who does not sympathize with your woes save only Zeus But he in malice has set his soul inflexiny and keeps in subjection the race sprung from Uranus nor will he stop until he has satiated his soul or another seizes his impreg nable empire by some device of guile PROMETHEUS 168 Truly the day shall come when although I am tortured in stubborn fetters the prince of the blessed will need me to reveal the new design whereby he shall be stripped of his sceptre and his dignities Not by persuasion39s honeyed enchantments will he charm me and I will never cowering before his dire threats divulge this secret until he releases me from my cruel bonds and provides compensation for this outrage CHORUS 180 You are bold and do not yield to your bitter pangs you give too much license to your tongue But my soul is agitated by piercing fear and 1am in dread about your fate wondering to what haven you must steer your ship to see an end of your voyage of sorrow For the heart of Cronus39 son is hardened against entreaty and his ways are inexorable PROMETHEUS 189 I know that Zeus is harsh and keepsjustice in his own hands but nevertheless one day his judgement will soften when he has been crushed in the way that I know Then calming down his stubborn wrath he shall at last bond with me in union and friendship as eager as I am to welcome him CHORUS 196 Unfold the whole story and tell us upon what charge Zeus has caught you and painfully punishes you with such dishonor Instruct us unless indeed there is some harm in telling PROMETHEUS 199 It is painful to me to tell the tale painful to keep it silent My case is unfortunate every way When first the heavenly powers were moved to wrath and mutual dissension was stirred up among them some bent on casting Cronus from his seat so Zeus in truth might reign others eager for the contrary end that Zeus might never win mastery over the gods it was then that 1 although advising them for the best was unable to persuade the Titans children of Heaven and Earth but they disdaining counsels of craft in the pride of their strength thought to gain the mastery without a struggle and by force Often my mother Themis or Earth though one form she had many names had foretold to me the way in which the future was fated to come to pass That it was not by brute strength nor through violence but by guile that those who should gain the upper hand were destined to prevail And though Iargued all this to them they did not pay any attention to my words With all that before me it seemed best that joining with my mother I should place myself a welcome volunteer on the side of Zeus and it is by reason of my counsel that the cavernous gloom of Tartarus now hides ancient Cronus and his allies within it Thus I helped the tyrant of the gods and with this foul payment he has responded for it is a disease that is somehow inherent in tyranny to have no faith in friends 228 However you ask why he torments me and this I will now make clear As soon as he had seated himself upon his father39s throne he immediately assigned to the deities their several privileges and apportioned to them their proper powers But of wretched mortals he took no notice desiring to bring the whole race to an end and create a new one in its place Against this purpose none dared make stand except me I only had the courage I saved mortals so that they did not descend blasted utterly to the house of Hades This is why I am bent by such grievous tortures painful to suffer piteous to behold I who gave mortals first place in my pity I am deemed unworthy to win this pity for myself but am in this way mercilessly disciplined a spectacle that shames the glory of Zeus CHORUS 244 Iron hearted and made of stone Prometheus is he who feels no compassion at your miseries For myself Iwould not have desired to see them and now that I see them I am pained in my heart PROMETHEUS 248 Yes to my friends indeed I am a spectacle of pity CHORUS 249 Did you perhaps transgress even somewhat beyond this offence PROMETH EUS 250 Yes I caused mortals to cease foreseeing their doomg CHORUS 251 Of what sort was the cure that you found for this affliction PROMETHEUS 252 I caused blind hopes to dwell within their breasts CHORUS 253 A great benefit was this you gave to mortals PROMETHEUS 254 In addition I gave them fire CHORUS 255 What Do creatures of a day now have flame eyed fire PROMETHEUS 256 Yes and from it they shall learn many arts CHORUS 257 Then it was on a charge like this that Zeus PROMETHEUS 258 Torments me and in no way gives me respite from pain CHORUS 259 And is there no end assigned to your ordeal PROMETHEUS 260 No none except when it seems good to him CHORUS 261 But how will it seem good to him What hope is there Do you not see that you have wronged And yet it is not pleasant for me to talk about how you have wronged and for you it is pain So let us quit this theme and may you seek some release from your ordeal PROMETHEUS 265 It is easy for him who keeps his foot free from harm to counsel and admonish him who is in misery I have known this all the while Of my own will yes of my own will I erred I will not deny it By helping mortals I found suffering for myself nevertheless I did not think I would be punished in this way wasting away upon cliffs in mid air my portion this desolate and dreary crag And now bewail no more my present woes alight on the ground and listen to my oncoming fortunes so that you may be told them from end to end Consent I beg you oh consent Take part in the trouble of him who is now in sore distress In truth affliction wanders impartially abroad and alights upon all in turn CHORUS 279 Not to unwilling ears have you made this appeal Prometheus And so now with light foot I will quit my swift speeding seat and the pure air the pathway of birds and draw near to this rugged ground for I want to hear the whole story of your sorrows Enter Oceanus on a winged steed OCEANUS 286 I have come to the end of a long journey in my passage to you Prometheus guiding by my own will without a bridle this swift winged bird For your fate you may be sure I feel compassion Kinship Ithink constrains me to this and apart from blood ties there is none to whom I should pay greater respect than to you You shall know this for simple truth and that it is not in me to utter vain and empty words come tell me what aid can I render you For you shall never say that you have a friend more loyal than Oceanus PROMETHEUS 300 Ha What have we here So then you too have come to stare upon my sufferings How did you summon courage to quit the stream that bears your name and the rock roofed caves you yourself have made and come to this land the mother of iron Is it that you have come to gaze upon my state and join your grief to my distress Look upon me here a spectacle the friend of Zeus who helped him to establish his sovereign power by what anguish Iam bent by him OCEANUS 309 I see Prometheus and I want to give you the best advice although you yourself are wily Learn to know yourself and adapt yourself to new ways for new also is the ruler among the gods If you hurl forth words so harsh and of such whetted edge perhaps Zeus may hear you though throned far off high in the heavens and then your present multitude of sorrows shall seem but childish sport Oh wretched sufferer Put away your wrathful mood and try to find release from these miseries Perhaps this advice may seem to you old and dull but your plight Prometheus is only the wages of too boastful speech You still have not learned humility nor do you bend before misfortune but would rather add even more miseries to those you have Therefore take me as your teacher and do not add insult to injury seeing that a harsh monarch now rules who is accountable to no one So now I will depart and see whether I can release you from these sufferings And may you hold your peace and be not too blustering of speech Or can it be that for all your exceeding wisdom you do not know that chastisement is inflicted on a wagging tongue PROMETHEUS 332 I envy you because you have escaped blame for having dared to share with me in my troubles So now leave me alone and let it not concern you Do what you want you cannot persuade him for he is not easy to persuade Beware that you do not do yourself harm by the mission you take OCEANUS 337 In truth you are far better able to admonish others than yourself It is by fact not by hearsay that Ijudge So do not hold back one who is eager to go For I am confident yes confident that Zeus will grant me this favor to free you from your sufferings PROMETHEUS 342 I thank you for all this and shall never cease to thank you in zeal you lack nothing but do not trouble yourself for your trouble will be vain and not helpful to me if indeed you want to take the pain No keep quiet and keep yourself clear of harm For even if I am in sore plight I would not wish affliction on everyone else No certainly no since besides I am distressed by the fate of my brother Atlas who towards the west stands bearing on his shoulders the pillar of heaven and earth a burden not easy for his arms to grasp Pity moved me too at the sight of the earth born dweller of the Cilician caves curbed by violence that destructive monster of a hundred heads impetuous Typhon He withstood all the gods hissing out terror with horrid jaws while from his eyes lightened a hideous glare as though he would storm by force the sovereignty of Zeus But the unsleeping bolt of Zeus came upon him the swooping lightning brand with breath of flame which struck him frightened from his loud mouthed boasts then stricken to the very heart he was burnt to ashes and his strength blasted from him by the lightning bolt And now a helpless and a sprawling bulk he lies hard by the narrows of the sea pressed down beneath the roots of Aetna while on the topmost summit Hephaestus sits and hammers the molten ore There one day shall burst forth rivers of fire with savage jaws devouring the level fields of Sicily land of fair fruit such boiling rage shall Typho although charred by the blazing lightning of Zeus send spouting forth with hot jets of appalling fire breathing surge 375 But you are not inexperienced and do not need me to teach you Save yourself as you know best while I exhaust my present lot until the time comes when the mind of Zeus shall abandon its wrath OCEANUS 379 Do you not know then Prometheus that words are the physicians of a disordered temper PROMETHEUS 381 If one softens the soul in season and does not hasten to reduce its swelling rage by violence OCEANUS 383 What lurking mischief do you see when daring joins to zeal Teach me this PROMETHEUS 385 Lost labor and thoughtless simplicity OCEANUS 386 Leave me to be affected by this since it is most advantageous when truly wise to be deemed a fool PROMETHEUS 388 This fault will be seen to be my own OCEANUS 389 Clearly the manner of your speech orders me back home PROMETHEUS 390 So that you won39t win enmity for yourself by lamenting for me OCEANUS 391 In the eyes of the one who is newly seated on his omnipotent throne PROMETHEUS 392 Beware lest the time come when his heart is angered with you OCEANUS 393 Your plight Prometheus is my instructor PROMETHEUS 394 Go away depart keep your present purpose OCEANUS 395 Your urging meets my eagerness for my four footed winged beast fans with his wings the smooth pathway of the air and truly he will be glad to rest his knees in his stall at home Exit CHORUS 399 I mourn your unfortunate fate Prometheus Shedding from my eyes a coursing flood of tears 1 wet my tender cheeks with their moist streams For Zeus holding this unenviable power by self appointed laws displays towards the gods of old an overweening spirit 407 Now the whole earth cries aloud in lamentation lament the greatness of the glory of your time hallowed honor the honor that was yours and your brother39s and all mortals who make their dwelling place in holy Asia share the anguish of your most lamentable suffering and those who dwell in the land of Colchis the maidens fearless in fight and the Scythian multitude that inhabits the most remote region of the earth bordering the Maeotic lake and the warlike flower of Arabia which hold the high cragged citadel near the Caucasus a hostile host that roars among the sharp pointed spears 10 425 One other Titan god before this I have seen in distress enthralled in torment by adamantine bonds Atlas pre eminent in mighty strength who moans as he supports the vault of heaven on his back The waves of the sea utter a cry as they fall the deep laments the black abyss of Hades rumbles in response and the streams of pure flowing rivers lament your piteous pain PROMETHEUS 436 No do not think it is from pride or even from wilfulness that I am silent Painful thoughts devour my heart as I behold myself maltreated in this way And yet who else but I definitely assigned their prerogatives to these upstart gods But I do not speak of this for my tale would tell you nothing except what you know Still listen to the miseries that beset mankind how they were witless before and I made them have sense and endowed them with reason Iwill not speak to upbraid mankind but to set forth the friendly purpose that inspired my blessing 447 First of all though they had eyes to see they saw to no avail they had ears but they did not understand but just as shapes in dreams throughout their length of days without purpose they wrought all things in confusion They had neither knowledge of houses built of bricks and turned to face the sun nor yet of work in wood but dwelt beneath the ground like swarming ants in sunless caves They had no sign either of winter or of flowery spring or of fruitful summer on which they could depend but managed everything withoutjudgment until I taught them to discern the risings of the stars and their settings which are difficult to distinguish 459 Yes and numbers too chiefest of sciences I invented for them and the combining of letters creative mother of the Muses39 arts with which to hold all things in memory I too first brought brute beasts beneath the yoke to be subject to the collar and the pack saddle so that they might bear in men39s stead their heaviest burdens and to the chariot I harnessed horses and made them obedient to the rein to be an image of wealth and luxury It was I and no one else who invented the mariner39s flaxen winged car that roams the sea Wretched that I am such are the arts 1 devised for mankind yet have myself no cunning means to rid me of my present suffering CHORUS 472 You have suffered sorrow and humiliation You have lost your wits and have gone astray and like an unskilled doctor fallen ill you lose heart and cannot discover by which remedies to cure your own disease PROMETHEUS 477 Hear the rest and you shall wonder the more at the arts and resources I devised This first and foremost if ever man fell ill there was no defence no healing food no ointment nor any drink but for lack of medicine they wasted away until I showed them how to mix soothing remedies with which they now ward off all their disorders And I marked out many ways by which they might read the future and among dreams I first discerned which are destined to come true and voices baffling interpretation I explained to them and signs from chance meetings The flight of crook taloned birds I distinguished clearly which by nature are auspicious which sinister their various modes of life their mutual feuds and loves and their consortings and the smoothness of their entrails and what color the gall must have to please the gods also the speckled symmetry of the liver lobe and the thigh bones wrapped in fat and the long chine I burned and initiated mankind into an 11 occult art Also I cleared their vision to discern signs from flameswhich were obscure before this Enough about these arts Now as to the benefits to men that lay concealed beneath the earth bronze iron silver and gold who would claim to have discovered them before me No one I know full well unless he likes to babble idly Hear the sum of the whole matter in the compass of one brief word every art possessed by man comes from Prometheus CHORUS 507 Do not benefit mortals beyond reason and disregard your own distress although I am confident that you will be freed from these bonds and will have power in no way inferior to Zeus PROMETHEUS 511 Not in this way is Fate who brings all to fulfillment destined to complete this course Only when I have been bent by pangs and tortures infinite am Ito escape my bondage Skill is weaker by far than Necessity CHORUS 515 Who then is the helmsman of Necessity PROMETHEUS 516 The three shaped Fates and mindful Furies CHORUS 517 Can it be that Zeus has less power than they do PROMETHEUS 518 Yes in that even he cannot escape what is foretold CHORUS 519 Why what is fated for Zeus except to hold eternal sway PROMETHEUS 520 This you must not learn yet do not be over eager CHORUS 521 It is some solemn secret surely that you enshroud in mystery PROMETHEUS 522 Think of some other subject for it is not the proper time to speak of this No matter what this must be kept concealed for it is by safeguarding it that I am to escape my dishonorable bonds and outrage CHORUS 526 May Zeus who apportions everything never set his power in conflict with my will nor may I be slow to approach the gods with holy sacrifices of oxen slain by the side of the ceaseless stream of Oceanus my father and may I not offend in speech but may this rule abide in my heart and never fade awaySweet it is to pass all the length of life amid confident hopes feeding the heart in glad festivities But I shudder as I look on you racked by infinite tortures You have no fear of Zeus Prometheus but in self will you reverence mortals too much 12 545 Come my friend how mutual was your reciprocity Tell me what kind of help is there in creatures of a day What aid Did you not see the helpless infirmity no better than a dream in which the blind generation of men is shackled Never shall the counsels of mortal men transgress the ordering of Zeus I have learned this lesson from observing the luck Prometheus that has brought about your ruin And the difference in the song stole into my thought this song and that which about your bridal bed and bath I raised to grace your marriage when you wooed with gifts and won my sister Hesione to be your wedded wife Enter 0 9 10 561 What land is this What people By what name am I to call the one I see exposed to the tempest in bonds of rock What offence have you committed that as punishment you are doomed to destruction Tell me to what region of the earth I have wandered in my wretched ness Oh oh Aah Aah A gad fly phantom of earth born Argus is stinging me again Keep him away 0 Earth I am fearful when I behold that myriad eyed herdsman He travels onward with his crafty gaze upon me not even in death does the earth conceal him but passing from the shades he hounds me the forlorn one and drives me famished along the sands of the seashore 575 The waxen pipe drones forth in accompaniment a clear sounding slumberous strain Alas alas Where is my far roaming wandering course taking me In what 0 son of Cronus in what have you found offence so that you have bound me to this yoke of misery aah are you harassing a wretched maiden to frenzy by this terror of the pursuing gadfly Consume me with fire or hide me in the earth or give me to the monsters of the deep to devour but do not grudge O Lord the favor that I pray for My far roaming wanderings have taught me enough and I cannot discern how to escape my sufferings Do you hear the voice of the horned virgin PROMETHEUS 589 How can I fail to hear the maiden frenzied by the gadfly the daughter of Inachus It is she who fires the heart of Zeus with passion and now through Hera39s hate is disciplined by force with interminable wandering 10 593 Why do you call my father39s name Tell me the unfortunate maid who you are unhappy wretch that you thus correctly address the miserable maiden and have named the heaven sent plague that wastes and stings me with its maddening goad Ah me In frenzied bounds I come driven by torturing hunger victim of Hera39s vengeful purpose Who of the company of the unfortunate endures aah aah sufferings such as mine Oh make it clear to me what misery I am fated to suffer what remedy is there what cure for my affliction Reveal it if you have the knowledge Oh speak declare it to the unfortunate wandering virgin PROMETHEUS 609 Iwill tell you plainly all that you would like to know not weaving riddles but in simple language since it is right to speak openly to friends Look I whom you see am Prometheus who gave fire to mankind 13 10 613 0 you who have shown yourself a common benefactor of mankind wretched Prometheus why do you suffer so PROMETHEUS 615 I have only just now finished lamenting my own calamities 10 616 You will not then do this favor for me PROMETHEUS 617 Say what it is you wish for you can learn all from me 10 618 Tell me who has bound you fast in this ravine PROMETHEUS 619 Zeus by his will Hephaestus by his hand 10 620 And for what offence do you pay the penalty PROMETHEUS 621 It suffices that I have made clear to you this much and no more 10 622 No also tell me the end of my wandering what time is set for wretched me PROMETHEUS 624 It would be better not to know than to know in your case 10 625 I beg you do not hide from me what I am doomed to suffer PROMETHEUS 626 No it is not that I do not want to grant your request 10 627 Why then your reluctance to tell me everything PROMETHEUS 628 I am not unwilling but I hesitate to crush your spirit 10 629 Do not be more kind to me than I myself desire PROMETHEUS 630 Since you insist I must speak Listen then 14 CHORUS 631 No not yet Grant us too a portion of the pleasure Let us first inquire the story of her affliction and let her with her own lips relate the events that brought horrid calamity upon her Then let her be instructed by you as to the toils still to come PROMETHEUS 635 It is for you 10 to grant them this favor especially since they are your father39s sisters For it is worthwhile to indulge in weeping and in wailing over evil fortunes when one is likely to win the tribute of a tear from the listener 10 640 I do not know how to refuse you You shall learn in truthful speech all that you would like to know Yet I am ashamed to tell about the storm of calamity sent by Heaven of the marring of my form and of the source from which it swooped upon me wretched that I am 645 For visions of the night always haunting my maiden chamber sought to beguile me with seductive words saying 0 damsel greatly blessed of fortune why linger in your maidenhood so long when it is within your power to win a union of the highest Zeus is inflamed by passion39s dart for you and is eager to unite with you in love Do not my child spurn the bed of Zeus but go forth to Lerna39s meadow land of pastures deep and to your father39s flocks and where his cattle feed so that the eye of Zeus may find respite from its longing 655 By such dreams was I to my distress beset night after night until at last I gained courage to tell my father of the dreams that haunted me And he sent many a messenger to Pytho and Dodona so that he might discover what deed or word of his would find favor with the gods But they returned with report of oracles riddling obscure and darkly worded Then at last there came an unmistakable utterance to Inachus charging and commanding him clearly that he must thrust me forth from home and native land to roam at large to the remotest confines of the earth and if he would not a fiery thunderbolt would come from Zeus that would utterly destroy his whole race 669 Yielding obedience to such prophetic utterances of Loxias he drove me away and barred me from his house against his will and mine but the constraint of Zeus forced him to act by necessity Immediately my form and mind were distorted and with horns as you see upon my forehead stung by a sharp fanged gadfly I rushed with frantic bounds to Cerchnea39s sweet stream and Lerna39s spring But Argus the earth born herdsman untempered in his rage pursued me peering with his many eyes upon my steps A sudden death robbed him of life unexpectedly while I still tormented by the gadfly am driven on from land to land before the heaven sent plague 683 That is what happened and if you can declare what toils still remain reveal them Do not from pity seek to soothe me with untrue words for I consider false words to be the foulest sickness CHORUS 687 Oh ah go away alas Never oh never did I dream that words so strange would greet my ears or that sufferings so grievous to look upon yes and so 15 grievous to endure a tale of outrage would strike my soul as if with double pronged goad Alas O Fate 0 Fate I shudder to behold the plight that has befallen Io PROMETHEUS 696 You lament and are full of fear all too soon Wait until you have learned the rest as well CHORUS 698 Proceed tell all It is comforting for the sick to know clearly beforehand what pain still awaits them PROMETHEUS 700 You gained your former request easily from me for you first desired the story of her ordeal from her own lips Hear now the sequel the sufferings this maid is fated to endure at Hera39s hand And may you daughter of Inachus lay to heart my words so that you may learn the end of your wanderings 707 First from this spot turn yourself toward the rising sun and make your way over untilled plains and you shall reach the Scythian nomads who dwell in thatched houses perched aloft on strong wheeled wagons and are equipped with far darting bows Do not approach them but keeping your feet near the rugged shore where the sea breaks with a roar pass on beyond their land On the left hand dwell the workers in iron the Chalybes and you must beware of them since they are savage and are not to be approached by strangers Then you shall reach the river Hybristes1 which does not belie its name Do not cross this for it is hard to cross until you come to Caucasus itself loftiest of mountains where from its very brows the river pours out its might in fury You must pass over its crests which neighbor the stars and enter upon a southward course where you shall reach the host of the Amazons who loathe all men They shall in time to come inhabit Themiscyra on the Thermodon where fronting the sea is Salmydessus39 rugged jaw evil host of mariners step mother of ships The Amazons will gladly guide you on your way Next just at the narrow portals of the harbor you shall reach the Cimmerian isthmus This you must leave with stout heart and pass through the channel of Maeotis and ever after among mankind there shall be great mention of your passing and it shall be called after you the Bosporus Then leaving the soil of Europe you shall come to the Asian continent 736 Does it not seem to you that the tyrant of the gods is violent in all his ways For this god desirous of union with this mortal maid has imposed upon her these wanderings Maiden you have gained a cruel suitor for your hand As to the tale you now have heard understand that it has not even passed the introduction 10 742 Ah me ah me alas PROMETHEUS 743 What You are crying and groaning again What will you do Iwonder when you have learned the sufferings still in store for you CHORUS 745 What Can it be that you have sufferings still left to recount to her 16 PROMETH EUS 746 Yes a tempestuous sea of calamitous distress 10 747 What gain have I then in life Why did I not hurl myself straightaway from this rugged rock so that I was dashed to earth and freed from all my sufferings It is better to die once and for all than linger out all my days in misery PROMETHEUS 753 Ah you would hardly bear my agonies to whom it is not foredoomed to die for death would have freed me from my sufferings But now no limit to my tribulations has been appointed until Zeus is hurled from his sovereignty 10 757 What Shall Zeus one day be hurled from his dominion PROMETHEUS 758 You would rejoice Ithink to see that happen 10 759 Why not since it is at the hand of Zeus that I suffer PROMETHEUS 760 Then you may assure yourself that these things are true 10 761 By whom shall he be despoiled of the sceptre of his sovereignty PROMETHEUS 762 By himself and his own empty headed purposes 10 763 In what way Oh tell me if there be no harm in telling PROMETHEUS 764 He shall make a marriage that shall one day cause him distress 10 765 With a divinity or with a mortal If it may be told speak out PROMETHEUS 766 Why ask with whom I may not speak of this 10 767 Is it by his consort that he shall be dethroned PROMETHEUS 768 Yes since she shall bear a son mightier than his father 10 769 And has he no means to avert this doom 17 PROMETHEUS 770 No none except me if I were released from bondage 10 771 Who then is to release you against the will of Zeus PROMETHEUS 772 It is to be one of your own grandchildren 10 773 What did you say A child of mine will release you from your misery PROMETH EUS 774 The third in descent after ten generations 10 775 Your prophecy is not easy to understand PROMETHEUS 776 Yes so do not seek to learn the full extent of your own sufferings 10 777 Do not offer me a favor and then withdraw it PROMETHEUS 778 I will present you with one or other of two tales 10 779 Which two Set them forth and offer me the choice PROMETHEUS 780 I am making the offer choose whether I shall reveal the sufferings still in store for you or the one who will be my deliverer CHORUS 782 Consent to bestow on her one of these favors and on me the other do not deny me the tale Tell her about her further wanderings tell me who will deliver you for I would like to know this PROMETHEUS 786 Well since you are bent on this Iwill not refuse to proclaim all that you still crave to know First to you 10 will Ideclare your much vexed wandering and may you engrave it on the recording tablets of your mind 790 When you have crossed the stream that bounds the two continents toward the flaming east where the sun walks crossing the surging sea until you reach the Gorgonean plains of Cisthene where the daughters of Phorcys dwell ancient maids three in number shaped like swans possessing one eye amongst them and a single tooth neither does the sun with his beams look down upon them nor ever the nightly moon And near them are their three winged sisters the snake haired Gorgons loathed of mankind whom no one of mortal kind shall look upon and still 18 draw breath Such is the peril that I bid you to guard against But now listen to another and a fearsome spectacle Beware of the sharp beaked hounds of Zeus that do not bark the gryphons and the one eyed Arimaspian folk mounted on horses who dwell about the flood of Pluto39sg stream that flows with gold Do not approach them Then you shall come to a far off country of a dark race that dwells by the waters of the sun where the river Aethiop is Follow along its banks until you reach the cataract where from the Bybline mountains Nile sends forth his hallowed and sweet stream He will conduct you on your way to the three angled land of Nilotis where at last it is ordained for you O 10 and for your children to found your far off colony 816 Ifanything of this is confusing to you and hard to understand may you question me yet again and gain a clear account for I have more leisure than I crave CHORUS 819 If there is anything still remaining or passed over of her direful wandering that you have to tell oh speak But if you have told all grant us in turn the favor we request you probably have it still in memory PROMETH EUS 823 She has now heard the full end of her travels yet so she may know that she has heard no vain tale from me I will describe the toils she has endured before she came here giving this as a sure proof of my account Most of the weary tale 1 shall leave out and come to the very close of your wanderings 829 For when you reached the Molossian plains and the sheer ridge that encircles Dodona where lies the prophetic seat of Thesprotian Zeus and that marvel passing all belief the talking oaks by which you clearly and in no riddling terms were saluted as the renowned bride to be of Zeus is any of this pleasing to you then stung by the gadfly you rushed along the pathway by the shore to the great gulf of Rhea from where you are tossed in backward wandering course and for all time to come a recess of the sea be well assured shall bear the name Ionian as a memorial of your crossing for all mankind 842 These then are the tokens to you of my understanding to show that it discerns more than has been made manifest The rest I shall declare both to you and her returning to the track of my former tale 846 There is a city Canobus on the extremity of the land at the very mouth and silt bar of the Nile There at last Zeus restores you to your senses by the mere stroke and touch of his unterrifying hand And you shall bring forth dark Epaphusm thus named from the manner of Zeus39 engendering and he shall gather the fruit of all the land watered by the broad flowing Nile Fifth in descent from him fifty maidens shall return to Argos not of their own free choice but fleeing marriage with their cousin kin while these their hearts ablaze with passion like falcons eagerly pursuing doves shall come in pursuit of wedlock unlawful to pursue but God shall grudge them enjoyment of their brides Pelasgian soil shall offer the maids a home when in the watches of the night their husbands have been slain by a deed of daring wrought by the women39s murderous blows For each bride shall take the life of her lord dyeing a two edged sword in his blood in such ways may Love come upon my enemies However love39s desire shall charm one of the maidens not to slay 19 her mate rather her resolve will lose its edge for she will make her choice between two evil names to be called coward rather than murderess She it is who shall give birth in Argos to a royal line a long story is necessary to explain this clearly of her seed however shall be born a man ofdaring renowned with the bow who shall deliver me from these toils Such is the oracle recounted to me by my mother Titan Themis born long ago The manner and the means these need lengthy speech to tell and to learn them all would not be of any benefit 10 877 Oh Oh Alas Once again convulsive pain and frenzy striking my brain inflame me I am stung by the gadfly39s barb unforged by fire My heart knocks at my ribs in terror my eyeballs roll wildly round and round I am carried out of my course by a fierce blast of madness I39ve lost all mastery over my tongue and a stream of turbid words beats recklessly against the billows of dark destruction Exit CHORUS 887 Ah sage sage indeed was he who first pondered this truth in his mind and with his tongue gave it utterance that to marry in one39s own class is far the best a poor man should not desire to marry among those who are pampered by riches or who are mighty in pride of birth 894 Never oh never immortal Fates may you see me the partner of the bed of Zeus and may I be wedded to no bridegroom who descends to me from heaven For I shudder when I behold the loveless maidenhood of 10 cruelly crushed like this by her toilsome wanderings sent by Hera 901 When marriage is on equal terms in my opinion it is no cause for dread so never may the love of the mightier gods cast on me its irresistible glance That would indeed be a war that cannot be fought a source of resourceless misery and I do not know what would be my fate for I do not see how I could escape the designs of Zeus PROMETHEUS 907 Yes truly the day will come when Zeus although stubborn of soul shall be humbled seeing that he plans a marriage that shall hurl him into oblivion from his sovereignty and throne and then immediately the curse his father Cronus invoked as he fell from his ancient throne shall be fulfilled to the uttermost Deliverance from such ruin no one of the gods can show him clearly except me I know the fact and the means So let him sit there in his assurance putting his trust in the crash reverberating on high and brandishing his fire breathing bolt in his hands For these shall not protect him from falling in ignominious and unendurable ruin Such an adversary is he now preparing despite himself a prodigy irresistible even one who shall discover a flame mightier than the lightning and a deafening crash to outroar the thunder a prodigy who shall shiver the trident Poseidon39s spear that scourge of the sea and shaker of the land Then wrecked upon this evil Zeus shall learn how different it is to be a sovereign and a slave CHORUS 928 Surely it is only your own desire that you utter as a curse against Zeus 20 PROMETHEUS 929 I speak what shall be brought to pass and moreover my own desire CHORUS 930 Must we really look for one to gain mastery over Zeus PROMETHEUS 931 Yes and he shall bear upon his neck pangs more galling than these of mine CHORUS 932 How is it that you are not afraid to utter such taunts PROMETH EUS 933 Why should I fear since I am fated not to die CHORUS 934 But he might inflict on you an ordeal even more bitter than this PROMETHEUS 935 Let him for all Icare Iam prepared for anything CHORUS 936 Wise are they who do homage to Necessity PROMETHEUS 937 Worship adore and fawn upon whoever is your lord But for Zeus I care less than nothing Let him do his will let him hold his power for his little day since he will not bear sway over the gods for long But wait for over there I see his messenger the servant of our new lord and master Certainly he has come to announce some news Enter Hermes HERMES 944 To you the clever and crafty bitter beyond all bitterness who has sinned against the gods in bestowing honors upon creatures of a day to you thief of fire I speak The Father commands that you tell what marriage you boast of whereby he is to be hurled from power and this mark well set forth in no riddling fashion but point by point as the case exactly stands and do not impose upon me a double journey Prometheus you see Zeus is not appeased by dealings such as yours PROMETHEUS 953 Bravely spoken in truth and swollen with pride is your speech as befits a minion of the gods Young you are as young your power and you think indeed that you inhabit heights beyond the reach of grief Have I not seen two sovereigns cast out from these heights A third the present lord I shall live to see cast out in ruin most shameful and most swift Do you think I quail perhaps and cower before these upstart gods Far from it no not at all But scurry back the way you came for you shall learn nothing about which you question me 21 HERMES 964 Yet it was by such proud wilfulness before too that you brought yourself to this harbor of distress PROMETHEUS 966 For your servitude rest assured I39d not barter my hard lot not I HERMES 967 Better no doubt to serve this rock than be the trusted messenger of Father Zeus PROMETHEUS 970 Such is the proper style for the insoent to offer insult HERMES 971 I think you revel in your present plight PROMETHEUS 972 I revel Oh Iwish that I might see my enemies revelling in this way And you too I count among them HERMES 974 What You blame me in some way for your calamities PROMETHEUS 975 In one word I hate all the gods that received good at my hands and with ill requite me wrongfully HERMES 977 Your words declare you stricken with no slight madness PROMETHEUS 978 Mad 1 may be if it is madness to loathe one39s enemies HERMES 979 You would be unbearable if you were prosperous PROMETHEUS 980 Alas HERMES 980 Alas That is a word unknown to Zeus PROMETHEUS 981 But ever ageing Time teaches all things HERMES 982 Yes but you at least have not yet learned to keep a sober mind PROMETHEUS 983 Or else I would not have addressed you an underling 22 HERMES 984 It seems you will answer nothing that the Father demands PROMETHEUS 985 Yes truly I am his debtor and I should repay favor to him HERMES 986 You taunt me as though indeed Iwere a child PROMETHEUS 987 And are you not a child and even more witless than a child if you expect to learn anything from me There is no torment or device by which Zeus shall induce me to utter this until these injurious fetters are loosed So then let his blazing lightning be hurled and with the white wings of the snow and thunders of earthquake let him confound the reeling world For nothing of this shall bend my will even to tell at whose hands he is fated to be hurled from his sovereignty HERMES 997 Look now whether this course seems to profit you PROMETHEUS 998 Long ago has this my course been foreseen and resolved HERMES 999 Bend your will perverse fool oh bend your will at last to wisdom in face of your present sufferings PROMETHEUS 1001 In vain you trouble me as though it were a wave you try to persuade Never think that through terror at the will of Zeus I shall become womanish and with hands upturned aping woman39s ways shall importune my greatly hated enemy to release me from these bonds 1 am far far from that HERMES 1007 Ithink that by speaking much I will only speak in vain for you are not soothed nor are you softened by my entreaties You take the bit in your teeth like a new harnessed colt and struggle against the reins Yet it is a paltry device that prompts your vehemence for in the foolish minded mere self will of itself avails less than anything at all But if you will not be won to belief by my words think of what a tempest and a towering wave of woe shall break upon you past escape First the Father will shatter this jagged cliff with thunder and lightning flame and will entomb your frame while the rock shall still hold you clasped in its embrace But when you have completed a long stretch of time you shall come back again to the light Then indeed the winged hound of Zeus the ravening eagle coming an unbidden banqueter the whole day long with savage appetite shall tear your body piecemeal into great rents and feast his fill upon your liver until it is black with gnawing 1026 Look for no term of this your agony until some god shall appear to take upon himself your woes and of his own free will descend into the sunless realm of Death and the dark deeps of Tartarus 23 1030 Therefore be advised since this is no counterfeited vaunting but utter truth for the mouth of Zeus does not know how to utter falsehood but will bring to pass every word May you consider warily and reflect and never deem stubbornness better than wise counsel CHORUS 1036 To us at least Hermes seems not to speak untimely for he bids you to lay aside your stubbornness and seek the good counsel of wisdom Be advised It is shameful for the wise to persist in error PROMETHEUS 1040 No news to me in truth is the message this fellow has proclaimed so noisilyYet for enemy to suffer ill from enemy is no disgrace Therefore let the lightning39s forked curl be cast upon my head and let the sky be convulsed with thunder and the wrack of savage winds let the hurricane shake the earth from its rooted base and let the waves of the sea mingle with their savage surge the courses of the stars in heaven and let him lift me on high and hurl me down to black Tartarus with the swirling floods of stern Necessity do what he will me he shall never bring to death HERMES 1054 Such indeed are the thoughts and the words one hears from men deranged Where does his prayer fall short of raving Where does he abate his frenzy But at all events may you who sympathize with his anguish withdraw in haste from this spot so that the relentless roar of the thunder does not stun your senses CHORUS 1063 Use some other strain and urge me to some other course in which you are likely to convince me This utterance in your flood of speech is I think past all endurance How do you charge me to practise baseness With him I am content to suffer any fate for I have learned to detest traitors and there is no pest I abhor more than this HERMES 1071 Well then bear my warning in memory and do not blame your fortune when you are caught in the toils of calamity nor ever say that it was Zeus who cast you into suffering unforeseen Not so but blame yourselves For well forewarned and not suddenly or secretly shall you be entangled in the inextricable net of calamity by reason of your folly Exit Herm es PROMETHEUS 1080 Indeed now it has passed from word to deed the earth rocks the echoing thunder peal from the depths rolls roaring past me the fiery wreathed lightning flashes flare forth and whirlwinds toss the swirling dust the blasts of all the winds leap forth and set in hostile array their embattled strife the sky is confounded with the deep Behold this stormy turmoil advances against me visibly sent by Zeus to frighten me O holy mother mine 0 you firmament that revolves the common light of all you see the wrongs I suffer Amid thunder and lightning Prometheus vanishes from sight and with him disappear the daughters of Oceanus 24 THE END 1 Such etymologizing play Pro metheus Fore thought was a serious matter to the Greeks who found in the name of a person a significant indication of his nature or his fate Unlike Shakespeare Aeschylus saw nothing even half humorous in such etymological analysis and elsewhere in playing on the names Apollo Clytaemestra Polynices the nomen is an omen 2 A veiled allusion to the secret hinted at in L171 3 Doom here signifies doom of death 4 The reading of the M55 can only mean that Oceanus had participated throughout in the rebellion of Prometheus whereas in l 236 Prometheus expressly declares that he had no confederate in his opposition to Zeus 5 The eruption of Aetna in 4798 BC is also described in a famous passage of Pindar Pind P 121 written in 470 BC which Aeschylus has here in mind The lyric poet dwells on the physical aspect of the eruption by day and night the dramatist on the damage done to the labor of the husbandman 6 In vase paintings after the time of Aeschylus and possibly due to his influence Io was often represented as wearing horns to symbolize her transformation into a heifer The pure beast type was the rule in earlier vases 7 Hubrist s Violent from hubris violence 8 Bosporos by popular etymology derived from bous and poros passing of the cow is according to Wecklein a Thracian form of Ph sphoros light bearing an epithet of the goddess Hecate The dialectical form once misunderstood was then it is conjectured transferred from the Thracian cp Aesch Pers 746 to the Crimean strait In the Suppliants Aeschylus makes Io cross the Thracian Bosporus 9 Plouton is an abbreviation of Ploutodot s or Ploutodot r giver of wealth hence the apparent confusion with Ploutos 10 Epaphus Touch born named from the touch ephaxis of the hand of Zeus Cp Aesch Supp 45 48 11 Heracles Accidently wounded by the poisoned arrow of this descendant of Io the centaur Chiron offered himself as a substitute for Prometheus thus fulfilling the prophecy contained in II 1026 ff In a fragment of the Prometheus Unbound Heracles is represented as aiming his arrow against the eagle that feasted on the body of Prometheus l 1022 12 The poet adopts the legend that Poseidon was a rival with Zeus for the hand of Thetis of whose son it had been prophesied by Themis that he should be mightier than his father The prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Peleus39 son Achilles 13 Ad rasteia the inescapable another name of Nemesis punished presumptuous words and excessive happiness 25
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