It is not certain that Aeschylus wrote Prometheus Bound, but it is convenient to continue to attribute the piece to him. It was probably the second part of a trilogy (the third would have shown Prometheus unbound). In creating the potent image of someone prepared to defy the gods and to embrace his punishment in the same defiant spirit, Aeschylus (or another) established the model for the tragic hero, and one that was to become particularly popular with the Romantics. Other cultures have always celebrated their victorious heroes. The tragic view of life, initiated by the Greeks and adopted by the Western world, celebrates figures who, though destined to defeat, inspire us with their individualism and courage. Thus, while tragic figures must succumb to their fate (how could it be otherwise?), tragedy, by celebrating their courageous spirit, is not an urge to conform, but rather a celebration of what makes them uniquely human. Prometheus Bound is also notable for its spectacular effects, especially the final descent of Prometheus into the underworld, probably achieved with a trapdoor (the ekkukleme). Hence Aristotle cited it as a prime example of opsis, theatre as spectacle.
Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).
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Aeschylus (525—456 bc) Greek dramatist