Short summary - Prometheus Unbound - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Short summary - Prometheus Unbound
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shelley's romantic utopian drama is written in white five-footed iambic.

The action begins in the Caucasus Mountains, where in the gorge among the ice-covered rocks languishes in chains of titanium Prometheus. At the feet of his oceans, Pantheus and Jonah sympathetically listen to his reproaches addressed to the supreme god, Jupiter. Prometheus reminds the autocrat that he once helped him take power over the gods, for which Jupiter repaid him with black ingratitude. He chained a titan to a rock, doomed him to torment: his body is tormented by the will of Jupiter, a bloodthirsty eagle. But this seemed to him not enough. He hated the people whom Prometheus granted fire and the lamp of knowledge, and now sends troubles to all mankind. However, Prometheus refuses to submit to the tyrant. He believes that «love, freedom, truth» will triumph, he recalls his terrible curse to the tyrant and has no doubt that the despot will fall and retribution - the endless torment of eternal loneliness - will befall him. Prometheus is not afraid of either physical torment or the furies tormenting his mind and soul. He firmly believes in his destiny: "to be a support, the savior of the suffering man." The only consolation for the titan is his memories of his beloved, beautiful oceanian of Asia. Panthea informs him that his loving Asia invariably awaits him in India.

Having appeared in Asia, Panthea speaks of Prometheus's love for her. Asia indulges in memories of past love and dreams of reunion with a loved one.

Together with Panthea, Asia goes to the cave, where Demogorgon sits - "powerful darkness", which has "no clear features, no image, no members." Asia asks Demogorgon who created the world, thought, feelings, crime, hatred and everything inherent in earthly life, and Demogorgon answers all the questions in the same way: autocratic God. But who is Mr. Jupiter then, asks Asia, and Demogorgon says: «All spirits, if they serve evil, are slaves. / Such is Il Jupiter - you can see. "

Feeling the hope of the liberation from the tyrannical power of Jupiter, Asia asks when the shackles of Prometheus will fall. However, Demogorgon again answers vaguely, foggy visions sweep across Asia.


Meanwhile, on the throne of heaven, Jupiter enjoys his power. The only thing that annoys him is the rebellion of a man undermining his autocratic power.

On the chariot of the Hour is the gloomy Demogorgon. «Who are you?» Jupiter asks and hears in response: «Eternity.» Demogorgon invites Jupiter to follow him into eternal darkness. Outraged Jupiter showers him with curses, but the Hour has come - he has been cast down from the throne, the elements to which he calls, they no longer obey him, and he falls down into darkness.

Joy embraces the gods at the news of the fall of the tyrant. On the chariot of the Spirit of the Hour, Asia and Panthea descend into the Caucasus Mountains. Hercules frees Prometheus from chains, Prometheus is incredibly happy to see the beautiful beloved Asia, makes plans for a new joyful life for himself and the people he saved. The earth tells him and Asia about its torment when a spirit of hostility reigned over it.

To everyone’s joy, the Spirit of the Hour reports that after the fall of the autocratic tyrant, great changes took place among people: «contempt, and horror, and hatred, and self-abasement in the eyes of men died out,» «jealousy, envy, treachery» disappeared ... Going down to earth , Prometheus and Asia hear the Spirits of the Human Mind singing the triumph of freedom and love. Wonderful visions sweep before them, and among them is the beautiful Spirit of the Earth, a child of Asia. The Earth describes an incredible transformation of the world: "... The swamp of thought that has been falling from the ages / indignant with the fire of love ... / ... From many souls a single spirit arose."

And finally, Demogorgon who appeared before them, the embodiment of eternal darkness, announces that thanks to the Son of the Earth, the kingdom of Patience, Wisdom, Tenderness, Kindness has come. And in this kingdom Beauty will rule.