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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 394

The play opens with Prometheus bound to the rock where Jupiter left him to have his flesh torn and eaten by birds, day after day. He said that Jupiter, the king of the gods, could not subdue Prometheus, no matter what he did. Mercury arrives to tell him to make peace with Jupiter; the Furies show him that now, instead of only being tortured by the birds, he has to live with knowing that Earth is under siege by evil from within men. They call Prometheus the "champion of Heaven's slaves" because he loves humanity. This is mental torture instead of physical torture and one that is much harder for him to endure. Still, he believes he can endure and insists that he doesn't want anything living—including Jupiter—to suffer.

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Asia, Prometheus's love, and her sister, Panthea, discuss dreams that Panthea had. In one of them, Prometheus was set free, and this resulted in love coming back into the world. The two travel together until they reach the cave of the Demogorgon. When the Demogorgon asks what they want to know, it tells Asia and Panthea that Prometheus only wanted Jupiter to not only rule over men but give them freedom as well. Jupiter, however, released a series of ills into the world. Prometheus gave man fire—knowledge—and they were able to do a variety of things with this. This is why Jupiter punished him. The Demogorgon, Asia, Panthea, and the Spirit of Destiny go into a cloud; at this point, Asia grows in beauty and love until she is like a goddess.

Jupiter is holding court and explaining that he has finally gained all the power in the universe. He's won everything but the souls of men. The Demogorgon—a child of Jupiter—arrives and pulls Jupiter down from Heaven. To those watching, it looks like Jupiter fell in the embrace of an eagle. This restores free will to mankind.

Hercules unchains Prometheus. Once free, he declares that he, Asia, and her sisters will watch over mankind yet remain separate from them. He predicts that men will only grow in love and utility. The world becomes more lush, softer, warmer, and kinder now that Jupiter is dethroned. The moon is even thawed. The Demogorgon announces that Love rules all now, because Prometheus was freed and the world is better for it.

The Poem

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 908

Prometheus, the benefactor of humankind, is bound to a rocky cliff by order of Jupiter, who is jealous of the Titan’s power. Three thousand years of torture Prometheus suffers there, while an eagle continually eats at his heart and he is afflicted by heat, cold, and many other torments. Prometheus nevertheless continues to defy the power of Jupiter. At last Prometheus asks Panthea and Ione, the two Oceanides, to repeat to him the curse he had pronounced upon Jupiter when Jupiter first began to torture him. Neither his mother Earth nor the Oceanides will answer him. At last the Phantasm of Jupiter appears and repeats the curse. When Prometheus hears the words, he repudiates them. Now that he has suffered tortures and finds that his spirit remains unconquered, he wishes pain to no living thing. Earth and the Oceanides mourn that the curse has been withdrawn, for they think that Jupiter has at last conquered Prometheus’s spirit.

Then Mercury approaches with the Furies. Mercury tells the captive Prometheus that he will suffer even greater tortures if he does not reveal the secret that he alone knows—the future fate of Jupiter. Jupiter, afraid, wishes to avert catastrophe by learning the secret, and Mercury promises Prometheus that he will be released if he reveals it. Prometheus, however, refuses. He admits only that he knows Jupiter’s reign will come to an end, that Jupiter will not be king of the gods for all eternity. Prometheus says that he is willing to...

(The entire section contains 1302 words.)

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