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Prometheus unbound - Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1920 - Act I

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  1. Prometheus's liberation
  2. "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  3. A battle won with forgiveness

In Act I of Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound", the story begins with the introduction of the mentally and physically tortured Prometheus bound to a rock. The reason for his confinement is revealed to be punishment for teaching the secret of fire to humanity, and defying Jupiter's reign on mankind. Prometheus, who is an immortal Titan, desperately attempts to recall the exact words of a curse that he uttered against Jupiter. However, he learns that the words he needs must be spoken by a shade, a ghost, or a phantom of the dead in order to escape suffering at Jupiter's hands. As Prometheus's mother reveals that she too has been a victim of her son's curse, a Phantasm of Jupiter appears and repeats Prometheus's declarations against Jupiter.

[...] Although Prometheus Unbound is not a work that deals primarily with life and death, Shelley does involve the idea of forgiveness and the importance of understanding and accepting one's shortcomings. It is important to note that although Shelley based Prometheus Unbound on Aeschylus' myth, he chose to have Jupiter overthrown as opposed to having Prometheus reconciled with the tyrant. Shelley did not want his character to give up on his aspirations for the human race, and by ensuring that Prometheus did not give up on his beliefs, Shelley made sure that justice would be served and that all efforts would be rewarded. [...]


[...] His imagery goes as far as to allow the reader to taste what he tastes, and feel what he is feeling. he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise,? allows Coleridge to give his audience an actual taste of the pleasure that Paradise holds. Therefore, it is unsurprising that ?Kubla Khan? is also known as ?Vision in a Dream.? It is important to note the similarities between Prometheus Unbound and ?Kubla Khan.? Coleridge, like Shelley, poured enormous emotion into his words. [...]


[...] Prometheus, who is an immortal Titan, desperately attempts to recall the exact words of a curse that he uttered against Jupiter. However, he learns that the words he needs must be spoken by a shade, a ghost, or a phantom of the dead in order to escape suffering at Jupiter's hands. As Prometheus's mother reveals that she too has been a victim of her son's curse, a Phantasm of Jupiter appears and repeats Prometheus's declarations against Jupiter. As the act continues, it is interesting to focus on the curse, and the effect that is has on Prometheus and on Jupiter, although he is not physically present. [...]

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