The Crimes and Arts of Prometheus

"The Crimes and Arts of Prometheus," Rheinisches Museum fur Philologie 107, No. 2, (1964): 126-139. Reprinted in The Archaeology of the Soul, 2012.


“Most recent scholarship on Aeschylus’¬†Prometheus has been devoted to the question of Zeus and the plan of the whole trilogy. And in a way that is understandable. Portions of the play are so plainly obscure — the wanderings of Io, for example — that one cannot give an account of them except by appealing to a larger design in which they would have a place. But these attempts to explain … has led to a neglect of what we have before us, which equally stand in need of explanation. We propose, then, to consider the not unavailable but two passages that are unusually dark and inevitably raise questions about the trilogy as a whole. The first concerns the crimes for which Prometheus was punished, the second the arts which he gave to men. The two are clearly related: the arts are somehow Prometheus’ crimes.”

RHM.Uni [pdf]