Reason, Fate and Force
An analysis of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound focusing on the hierarchy of power.
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This paper is a symbolic analysis of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound. The author characterizes Prometheus as Reason, Zeus as Force, and Fate as Futility. The paper makes the further argument that there is a hierarchy of power among these three, and explores the nature of each character. It also focuses a good deal on the struggle between Force and Reason.
“In Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, we see Prometheus as the embodiment of Reason, Zeus as the embodiment of Force, and Fate as the embodiment of futility. Prometheus, as Reason, has a greater will, or power, than Zeus has as Force. Zeus is subject to the guiding power of Fate. Moreover, while it may seem like a controversial statement, that same force, Fate, does not bind Prometheus. From this, it is possible to extrapolate a hierarchy of power. Force restricts aspects of the material world. Fate will direct or hinder Force. However, Reason has the power to triumph over both.”