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Prometheus Unbound Characters

Prometheus

Prometheus is the protagonist of the play. He is a Titan and went against the rest of the gods to give fire to humanity. After his crime, he is condemned to suffer eternal punishment—being chained to a rock, only to have his liver pecked away every single day. Shelley himself compared the Romantic hero Prometheus to Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost. As celestial beings, both characters lack the typical weaknesses of Romantic heroes.

Demogorgon

Demogorgon is a spirit from the Underworld and the offspring of Jupiter. Ultimately, he challenges and dethrones Jupiter. Demogorgon is typically viewed as a diabolical character.

Jupiter

Jupiter is the king of the gods. Prometheus views him as a tyrant, as he refuses to allow humanity access to fire. Jupiter condemns Prometheus to his eternal punishment after Prometheus disobeys him. Unlike other tellings of the myth, Prometheus Unbound does not include a reconciliation between Prometheus and Jupiter. Instead, Jupiter loses power and falls from his position as king.

The Earth

This voice comes to Prometheus and provides the perspective of nature within the plot of the drama.

Mercury

Mercury is the messenger god who delivers a message from Jupiter and attempts to barter with Prometheus. Prometheus refuses his offer to come rejoin the gods, and Mercury leaves him bound.

Hercules

Hercules is a demigod hero (and son of Jupiter) who frees Prometheus from the rock where he is chained.

The Oceanides

The Oceanides are sea nymphs who support Prometheus. The three sisters love Prometheus and are saddened when he is condemned by Jupiter. They serve multiple purposes throughout the drama, including conferring with Demogorgon and staying with Prometheus in his cave. They include:

  • Asia
  • Panthea
  • Ione

Other, more minor characters include:

  • Apollo (the god of the sun)
  • The Phantasm of Jupiter
  • The Spirit of the Earth
  • Spirits of the Hours
  • Spirits (a sort of chorus in the drama)
  • Echoes
  • Fawns
  • Furies (beings sent from the Underworld to torture Prometheus)

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Prometheus

Prometheus (proh-MEE-thee-uhs), a Titan punished by Jupiter for having befriended humankind. He is chained to a rocky cliff for three thousand years while eagles tear at his heart, but he will not repudiate the curse he has pronounced on Jupiter. Aided by spirits and gods, Prometheus finally is unbound. His freedom heralds an age of sweetness and light for humankind.

Jupiter

Jupiter (JEW-pih-tur), the chief of the gods, who has had Prometheus bound to the cliff. As Prometheus is released, Jupiter loses his power and falls, impotent, into darkness.

Demogorgon

Demogorgon (dee-muh-GOHR -guhn), the supreme god and...

(The entire section is 639 words.)