What is the sin for which Prometheus is being punished? What comes from Prometheus? (lines 504-505)
What emotions or ideas is Aeschylus trying to evoke as he describes the circumstances that led to the prosecution of Prometheus?
Hephaestus does not like the role he is playing in the punishment of Prometheus. Why? Is he sympathetic with the “cause” of Prometheus, or with Prometheus’ himself?
Might claims that “only Zeus is free” (line 50). Is this the message of the whole drama? Who is free? Is even Zeus free? The Chorus claims that even Zeus cannot escape what is fated? Prometheus says, “So must I bear, as lightly as I can, the destiny that fate has given me; for I know well against necessity, against its strength, no one can fight and win.” (line 103) Does Aeschylus believe this? How does this compare with what you believe about God and freewill?
Hephaestus has chosen sides; he is alligned with Zeus and Prometheus is, therefore, the enemy. Might indicates that it is wrong to pity an enemy. How might this situation be reflected in our own culture?
Several references to the newness of Zeus’ rule are made (i.e. “the new Prince” – line 97; “new are the statesmen… and new are the customes…” – lines 148, 149, “new” – line 312; etc.). In what way is Zeus (and the Olympians) new?
How did Zeus become King of the Gods?
“When first the Gods began their angry quarrel, and God matched god in rising faction” (lines 201-202), Prometheus chose to side with Zeus. So, why is Zeus not more understanding of someone who has been his ally? (hint: lines 227-229)
Of all the possible deities, demigods, and demons that could have been cast in this drama, why Io?
Zeus loves Io. Really? What kinds of love are reflected in this drama?
Prometheus gives hope to mankind, but has no hope that Oceanus can get Zeus to relent. Why the paradox? “Prometheus” means “Foreseeing One”. Io asks him to tell her the fate that awaits here and he indicates it is better not to know. Do you agree with him? Would you want to know what awaits you in the future if you could? How would it change the way you live your life if you knew what awaited you in the future?
Victor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, asserted “Freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Is Prometheus an example of this? Or, is there more to it than that?
In what ways is this drama about “power”. Political power? Economic power? Sexual power? Power over ones own circumstances? Power over ones own will? Power to effect change?