Animal Domestication In Prometheus Bound

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Aeschylus’s play Prometheus Bound portrays the conflict between the two most powerful factors in human life: knowledge against force or equivalently, intellect against might. Set in a world that is conflicted between opposing political ideals of democracy and tyranny, the play characterizes the protagonist Prometheus as the champion of man who symbolizes the rebel against the tyrant and depicts Zeus as the destroyer of man. Prometheus, nailed to a rock on Caucasus, is at the mercy of Zeus for disobeying his authority by giving fire–”blind hopes” or practical reason– to mankind. Prometheus encounters the characters Io, the chorus, and Hermes, whose characterizations as well as references to Zeus suggest whether Aeschylus’s sentiments lie with Prometheus or Zeus. The play describes images of animal domestication, fire, and bondage, which deepen Prometheus’s relationships with these characters and lend insight into the nature of all human existence, suggesting that Aeschylus sides with Prometheus. One of the central ways through which the play’s stance on Prometheus versus Zeus and the nature of human existence emerges is through imagery of animal domestication. Animal domestication is largely explored through the exchanges between Prometheus and Io– the daughter of Inachus who Zeus transformed into a heifer to protect her from Hera’s anger. Prior to encountering Prometheus, Io cries out: “Son of Kronos, what fault, what fault, did you find in me that you should yoke me to a
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