Know well that I would not exchange my
sorrows for slavish service.
Literature of Ancient Greece played a huge role in the cultural development of mankind. Many years separate us from the heyday of ancient Greek art, but we still continue to read his best works. Among them are the tragedies of the great playwright of the antiquity of Aeschylus.
The most famous work of Aeschylus was the tragedy “Chained Prometheus.” It is based on the myth of Prometheus, the titan, the deity of the older generation, the son of Uranus and Gaia. He rebelled against Zeus, stole from Mount Olympus, where Zeus lived, heavenly fire and brought people in the reeds. Prometheus made people’s lives happier and shook the power of Zeus and his helpers – the Olympic gods.
In the tragedy “Chained Prometheus,” Aeschylus tells how a cruel tyrant Zeus punishes the rebellious against him Prometheus. The main thing in this tragedy is the conflict between two generations of gods: the old, the defeated, to which Prometheus belongs, and the new one, headed by Zeus. Conflict between the hero, selflessly struggling for human happiness, and despotic arbitrariness, hampering progress. Already in the prologue of the tragedy Zeus is characterized as a cruel ruler. This is indicated by the names of his servants: Power, Violence. Power appears as a rude, cruel servant of the king of the gods. Rude shouts, threats, she makes Hephaestus execute
The images of Hephaestus, the Ocean, Hermes – also reveal the theme of tyranny and the pernicious influence that it exerts on a person. Hephaestus is cowardly in cowardice, though kind. With tears of compassion, he fulfills his mission as an executioner. This is a terrible image of the “honest coward” who became an accomplice in the crime of the tyrant. At a decisive moment he betrays Prometheus, becoming the executor of the will of Zeus.
With irony, Aeschylus painted the image of the Ocean. Once the Ocean, along with other titans, took part in the struggle against Zeus, but after the victory of Zeus, he managed to escape the punishment that befell his friends. And now he feels well with the new owner. This egoist thinks only of his peace and well-being.
Hermes – impudent and rude servant of Zeus, proud of the fact that faithfully serves his master. For him there is only the will of his master, he is incapable of understanding Prometheus, who does not want to bow his head before Zeus.
Zeus stands up to Prometheus. He gave people fire, taught them to build houses, count and read, tame animals, make sails, find medicines for diseases, and extract metals. He saved people from destruction, which Zeus conceived. Prometheus knew that for violating the will of the supreme god, he faces severe suffering. “Voluntarily, voluntarily, I did it,” he says. He was inspired to do so great love for people. And now Prometheus must suffer for his excessive love. During the conversation between Prometheus and the oceanids, their father Ocean arrives to persuade him to resign himself and to stop enmity with Zeus, but Prometheus refuses to do so. Prometheus is not afraid of Zeus, because he owns the mystery of his fate, which Gaia, the goddess of the Earth, knows from her mother. Zeus sends to Prometheus the God of Hermes, so that he would learn from him this secret. But no persuasion and threats can not break Prometheus. He does not want to reveal secrets to Zeus until he releases him. Prometheus says to Hermes: “I will never trade my misfortune for your slavish servitude.” He is conscious of his rightness and believes in his power. This helps him endure all the suffering that Zeus subjected him to. In a flash of lightning, in a roar of thunder, Prometheus falls to the ground, not terrified by Zeus and unconquered.
The name of Prometheus is a symbol of fearlessness, selfless love for people and readiness to fight for their happiness. “Chained Prometheus” Aeschylus convinces us of the need to combat tyranny, violence and oppression. Aeschylus tells us that progress is achieved at the cost of suffering, but, in the end, he wins.