I would not exchange my griefs
On slavish service.
He really was a hero, a titan in the original meaning of these words.
Just think, it’s been sung for more than twenty-five centuries! This is only in the drama of Aeschylus, but how much is it?
And the actors on the curbs talked about him, maybe the lofty words were even higher, under the open sky, so that the solemn words would sound even more solemn. And initially the actor, playing the main role, put on an expressive mask of suffering.
Of all the parts of the tetralogy of Aeschylus, only this one – “Chained Prometheus” – survived. Probably, she was the most interesting and she was often played on stage.
Against the will of the all-powerful Zeus, Prometheus,
Somewhere “behind the scenes” remains the great gift of Prometheus to people – the fire that gives impetus to agriculture, crafts, sciences. We do not see the people who are entrusted to them on the stage and do not know if they remember the hero.
There are here – the gods, the titans, the interlocutor-commentator of what is happening – the choir. A friend of Hephaestus, the god of blacksmithing, chained to the rock with chains. He sympathizes, but must obey orders. The sisters-oceanids, mother, even the father are advised to obey – they say, you can not break the whip with the whip. Prometheus experiences terrible agony: a huge eagle comes to peck the titan’s liver every morning. The hero is also experiencing the shame of public punishment. At the price of such torture, even immortality you will not want. The choir’s comment sounds:
No, helping mortals too much,
Myself in this leaves misfortune.
Prometheus has the possibility of retreat: do not ask for mercy, do not repent, but exchange for freedom his knowledge about the fate of Zeus. After all, life is worth such an exchange.
Yes, but not for the hero, not for the proud titan Prometheus.
I did not meet Prometheus from his contemporaries either in the ancient Greek myth or in Aeschylus. For crafts, for fire, for the dignity given to people in the fight against the powerful of the world.
But think: after all, we, distant descendants, who possess many knowledge and skills, guard the fire of Prometheus both literally and figuratively. This light of unrestlight illuminates our souls, helps to survive in difficult circumstances.
And the name of Prometheus became a symbol of sacrifice, service to people. People thankfully bow before him, as in centuries respectfully worship the feat and suffering for all humanity of another hero – Jesus Christ.