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Is the punishment of Prometheus in Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound just or unjust? How does the play itself define justice?
Religion and Theology
Pages 9 (2259 words)
Justice in ‘Prometheus Bound’ by Aeschylus Table of Contents I. Introduction 3 II. On the Justice of the Punishment Meted on Prometheus by Zeus 3 Works Cited 10 I. Introduction The paper answers the question of whether or not the punishment meted to Prometheus in the play ‘Prometheus Bound’ by Aeschylus is just or not, and explores the meaning of justice as the play defines the concept.
To be just is to act in total obedience to the will of Zeus, because men are not free, but only Zeus is: “Why, all things are a burden save to rule/ Over the Gods; for none is free but Zeus” (Aeschylus). On the other hand the play also points to another conception of justice, and that is justice in reference to how men and gods honor the value of friendship, and in the way actions of gods and men favor the development of men, the intellect, and human reason, over the arbitrary whims of a god like Zeus who has no regard for any of that. In this second sense then one can say that the punishment of Prometheus, who gave men the gifts of fire, hope, and the many different arts that have helped human civilization progress against blind and furious nature, and who helped Zeus besides in Zeus’ battle against the Titan, that that punishment is unjust. The rest of the paper develops this idea (Aeschylus; Allen; Irby-Massey). II. On the Justice of the Punishment Meted on Prometheus by Zeus In the beginning of the play we see that Prometheus was being punished, and that continuing punishment throughout the play also consisted in his public humiliation. ...
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