Existentialism In Prometheus Bound

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Prometheus Bound stands apart from Robert Lowell’s other plays and is of special interest because here we find a fine embodiment of an existentialist rebel in the character of Prometheus, despite the mythical content of the play. In his adaptation of Aeschylus’s play, he reworks the classical myth of Prometheus. We can trace subtle elements of archetypal rebels like Milton’s Satan, Camus’s Sisyphus and Joyce’s Daedalus in his Prometheus. However, nuances of the contemporary situation are also incorporated in order to make it relevant to the present. However, as he himself admits there is no attempt at modernization: There are no tanks or cigarette lighters. No contemporary statesman is parodied. Yet I think my own concerns and worries and those of the times seep in (In the Author’s note V) Lowell has termed Prometheus Bound a “translation”. According to him, in translation, the poetry seems “lofty and dead” and the characters seem to be “statues”. Yet “something living somehow burns” through the worst translation. Nevertheless, it is more than that. It is a stimulating intellectual drama, and a challenging one because of its unconventional theme wherein Lowell examines the psychology of the rebel in the character of Prometheus. Compared to the usual dramas there is an obvious lack of…show more content…
He had risked the wrath of Zeus to give man the gift of Fire. For this, he is doomed to eternity, being chained to a high rock where humanity would not reach him. At this height, the Sun with its blazing heat and Night with its biting cold only intensify his misery. Compounded with all this, is the nerve-racking loneliness. His isolation from human communication makes him a slave to his thoughts. Those warring thoughts set up a veritable conflict in his mind. The mental agony in Prometheus’s mind is indicated through these words of the Chorus (First

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