Analysis Of ' Prometheus 's Punishment Essay

2452 Words Nov 26th, 2016 10 Pages
In order to investigate the role of pity in causing Prometheus’s punishment, we must investigate the role of pity in his crime. The crime itself appears first early in the drama as Kratos explains it to Hephaistos in the opening speech:
Your flower, the light of art-giving fire,
He stole and gave to mortals. For such sins
He must pay the penalty to the gods,
So that he might be taught to bear the tyranny of Zeus,
And to cease his man-loving way. (7-11)
Here, Kratos marks the theft of fire from the gods, and from Hephaistos, in particular, and the gift of it to man as Prometheus’s crime. Left slightly more implicit is the claim that Prometheus was motivated by his love of man and that the action is a crime because it defies the boundary between god and mortal defined by the new tyranny of Zeus. Thus, Prometheus’s crime, as Kratos understands it, at least, consists at its root in a defiance of Zeus’s justice motivated by love of man. Hephaistos understands the crime and its cause in a similar manner. As the god prepares to bind Prometheus to the barren crag that will be the titan’s home for ages to come, he describes the torments the Prometheus will bear before saying:
Such fruits did you reap from your love of man.
For you, a god, not bending to the wrath of the gods
Gave their honors to mortals outside of justice. (27-30)
The narrative here is essentially the same as that given by Kratos: Prometheus’s man-loving ways lead him to defy justice through gift of divine things to…

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