Summary of Lord Byron’s “Prometheus” Essay

1057 Words May 1st, 2011 5 Pages
George Gordon, Lord Byron, born in 1788 and died in 1824, was a known author and supporter of the English Romantics. Lord Byron has many pieces of work that have been studied throughout history but none as infamous as his poem titled “Prometheus”. To truly understand “Prometheus” one must first understand the author. Byron’s interpretation of Prometheus is highly reflective of his involvement and support of Romanticism. Romanticism can be defined as an intellectual and cultural reaction to the Enlightenment; without the Enlightenment there would be no Romanticism. English Romantics, such as Lord Byron, were men of action, solitude and imagination. Romantics viewed the individual as isolated from the rest of man. The idea of the “citizen” …show more content…
This emphasizes the unfairness of Prometheus’ situation and in line 6 and 7 this suffering is brought to life by noting “The rock, the vulture, and the chain.” As punishment for stealing fire from Zeus, Prometheus is chained to a wall and left for vultures to devour his liver. While Prometheus is feeling the suffering and pain of man, he does not admit to the pain nor express it. Byron refers to Prometheus’s suffering as silent and writes, “The agony they do not show,” (line 9) which gives evidence of Prometheus’ lack of acting like a victim. Prometheus attitude and dealings with his human suffering is quite the contrary to that of man, in fact Prometheus will not admit defeat nor give in to the Gods will. Power becomes a staring concept throughout Bryon’s “Prometheus”. The question arises of who holds the power between Zeus and Prometheus? Initially, Prometheus is depicted as the suppressed individual who has been mistreated and tortured at the hand of a superior authority, Zeus. However, in the end of “Prometheus” Zeus is no longer depicted as the powerful oppressor. It is Prometheus who has gained power through his inner strength, will power, and belief in himself as an individual that has allowed him to defeat his enemy, especially one with supernatural powers. Byron writes, “And the inexorable Heaven/ And the deaf tyranny of Fate/ The ruling principle of Hate/ Which for its pleasure doth create,” (line 19-21). In this passage, Bryon is trying to

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