Prometheus (proh-MEE-thee-uhs), a Titan, the son of Themis (Earth). In the revolt of Zeus against Kronos, he had sided with Zeus and had provided the counsel by which the older gods had been overthrown. Later, he persuaded Zeus to spare humankind, whom Zeus had planned to destroy. He has broken the command of the king of the gods by bringing to humans the gift of fire and instructing them in all the arts and crafts. For this flouting of the will of Zeus, he is carried, a prisoner, by Kratos (Might) and Bia (Force) to a rocky cliff in remote Scythia, there to be fastened by Hephaestus to the crag and to remain bound for eternity. His only comfort in his anguish is his secret foreknowledge of the eventual downfall of Zeus. His knowledge of the future remains with him. He prophesies to Io the torments that await her; tells her that her descendant, Herakles, will finally release him; and declares that Zeus himself will one day be deposed by his own son, whose future identity only Prometheus knows. This secret he refuses to divulge to Hermes, who brings the command of Zeus that Prometheus must reveal this all-important name on pain of even worse torments. Defiant to the last, Prometheus is blasted by the thunderbolt of Zeus and sinks into the underworld as the play ends. Prometheus is depicted in this drama as the embodiment of stubborn resistance against the tyranny of Zeus, willing to bear any punishment rather than...
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