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DescriptionPrometheus Bound is the starkest and strangest of the classic Greek tragedies, a play in which god and man are presented as radically, irreconcilably at odds. It begins with the shock of hammer blows as the Titan Prometheus is shackled to a rock in the Caucasus. This is his punishment for giving the gift of fire to humankind and for thwarting Zeus's decision to exterminate the human race. Prometheus's pain is unceasing, but he refuses to recant his commitment to humanity, to whom he has also brought the knowledge of writing, mathematics, medicine, and architecture. He hints that he knows how Zeus will be brought low in the future, but when Hermes demands that Prometheus divulge his secret, he refuses and is sent spinning into the abyss by a divine thunderbolt. To whom does humanity look for guidance: to the supreme deity or to the rebel Titan? What law controls the cosmos? Prometheus Bound, one of the great poetic achievements of the ancient world, appears here in a splendid new translation by Joel Agee that does full justice to the harsh and keening music of the original Greek.
New York Review of Books
March 24, 2015
4.9 X 0.4 X 7.9 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author
Aeschylus (525 bc-456 bc), the first of ancient Greece's major dramatists, is considered the father of Greek tragedy. He is said to have been the author of as many as ninety plays, of which seven survive. Joel Agee is a writer and translator. He has received several prizes, including the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin in 2008 and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for his translation of Heinrich von Kleist's verse play Penthesilea. He is the author of two memoirs--Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany and, more recently, In the House of My Fear. His translation of Prometheus Bound was produced at the Getty Villa in 2013. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"Prometheus's rebellion is the rebellion of life against inertia, of mercy and love against tyranny, of humanity against cruelty and arbitrary violence." --Thomas Merton "Joel Agee has found exciting ways to vivify the speeches with apparently scrupulous fidelity to sound. In this English, the poetry slashes like modern verse and the direct address boasts a blunt immediacy that exhorts us to consider our own issues with the State, with individualism and obedience, with the larger consequences of war and despoilment. It blows away the dated rhetoric of such predecessors as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Lowell." --Myron Meisel, The Hollywood Reporter