Translated by Rex Warner
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
With a Preface by Rex Warner
And Drawings by John Farleigh
The Heritage Press
Special contents of this Edition are
Copyright 1966 by The George Macy Companies Inc.
Sewn binding. Black cloth with gilt accents on front and back boards and gilt lettering on the spine. Cardboard slipcase. 10.75", 161 pages, contents, list of illustrations, introduction, list of characters in each book
Fine book in Good- Slipcase. A clean, solid copy. The slipcase a little rubbing on the bottom (see images) and very light wear here and there along the edges.
From the Introduction
The myth of Prometheus, as presented by AEschylus, has had at least as much influence as any other ancient myth upon subsequent thought. Like the 'Oresteia' it is concerned with the struggle between the old and the new, between forces which appear to be irreconcilable, though in the case of 'Prometheus Bound' we do not know - since this is the only play of the 'Prometheia' trilogy which has survived - precisely how AEschylus brought about the final reconciliation. And in some ways the 'Prometheus' is a more disturbing play than any of the plays in the 'Oresteia'. Throughout the 'Oresteia' AEschylus seem s to be aware that, in spite of every difficulty, some kind of divine purpose is being worked out, some kind of justice is being done; but in the 'Prometheus' it almost looks as though there is injustice in the nature of things, that God is working, not mysteriously, but monstrously.
Shelley, of course, with his native, idealistic, and reforming atheism, took this view of the myth. As he writes in the Preface to his 'Prometheus Unbound', '...in truth I was averse from a catastrophe so feeble as that of reconciling the Champion with the Oppressor of mankind.' And it must be admitted that if we went only by the text of AEschylus' 'Prometheus Bound' and left out of account all we know of AEchylus himself and of the other two plays which formed the trilogy, we could not well disagree with Shelley's judgement, disturbing as it is. In this first play of the trilogy the injustice of Zeus and the heroism of Prometheus are stressed by AEschylus just as much as they are by Shelley. Yet in face we know that AEschylus did in the end reconcile 'the Champion with the Oppressor of mankind' and, knowing AEschulus, we can be sure that the 'catastrophe' was not 'feeble.'
I recommend attention to the 'Note by Mrs. Shelley' which will be found on pages 155 to 161 (a bit too much to relate here).