Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Prometheus's Second Greatest Gift to Mankind

We all know that fire is Prometheus's greatest gift to mankind, but what about his second greatest gift? I was in the mood for some Aeschylus, my third favorite playwright (Shakespeare and Goethe being the first and second respectively), and I think I have found the answer within the pages of Prometheus Bound. The following passage is immediately after Prometheus told a chorus of ocean nymphs the story about how he helped Zeus during his war with the Titans and how Zeus still punished him afterwards for helping mankind:

=start of quote=

CHORUS He hath a heart
Of iron, hewn out of unfeeling rock
Is he, Prometheus, whom thy sufferings
Rouse not to wrath. Would I had ne'er beheld them,
For verily the sight hath wrung my heart.

PROMETHEUS Yea, to my friends a woeful sight am I.

CHORUS Hast not more boldly in aught else transgressed?

PROMETHEUS I took from man expectancy of death.

CHORUS What medicine found'st thou for this malady?

PROMETHEUS I planted blind hope in the heart of him.

CHORUS A mighty boon thou gavest there to man.

PROMETHEUS Moreover, I conferred the gift of fire.

CHORUS And have frail mortals now the flame-bright fire?

PROMETHEUS Yea, and shall master many arts thereby.

=end of quote=

A mighty boon indeed. Is this "blind hope," perchance, any different than the one found inside Pandora's box? Fxs

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