May 20, 2009

The rest of the story (and a canine obituary)

Chiron tutoring Achilles. Image courtesy of wikipedia.

Goat Rope is in the midst of a series on Everything You Always Wanted to Know (or not) About Greek Tragedy. You'll also find links and comments about current events. This week Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound is on the menu.

Most people who know anything about Prometheus myths know that he was chained at Zeus' command to a rock in the middle of nowhere and had his liver torn out daily by a vulture for giving humans the gift of fire. But there's a good bit more to the story that might be good to know before looking at Aeschylus' tragedy.

His punishment was not destined to last forever. It seems that over time Zeus recognized that his punishment was over the top. It was arranged that the great hero Heracles would free Prometheus.

Prometheus, for his part, overcame some of his haughtiness and earned favor with Zeus by warning him not to have a fling with the sea nymph Thetis, who was destined to give birth to a son who would be greater than his father. That would have been the only way that Zeus could have been overthrown. Fans of Homer will recall that Zeus married her off to the human Peleus, whose son was the great warrior Achilles.

One requirement for his pardon was that Prometheus wear a ring made from his chains with a stone from the mountain to which he was chained. That's where the custom of wearing rings came from.

Some other traditions say that Prometheus' suffering was fated to continue until another immortal agreed to go to the underworld in his place. This was done by the wise centaur Chiron (aka Cheiron), who was weary of life and suffering from an accidental wound from a poisoned arrow of Heracles.

Next time: the play itself.


It is with regret that we announce the passing of Lily, the Spousal Unit's 17 year old dog. She was rescued as a pup from a dump in Brazil and had a pretty good run. Her full name was Lilushka Grushenka Arcadia Aureliania Jose Maria Santiago la Bella Garcia Lorca de Unamuno Ortega y Gasset. We wish her a fortunate rebirth in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha.

BEING POOR is expensive.

HITTING HOME. Here's a good resource from the Economic Policy Institute on how the economic downturn is affecting people.

URGENT CICADA UPDATE here. Sneak preview: they like prime numbers.

WHILE WE'RE AT IT, here's an item on what makes Komodo dragons so dangerous.


1 comment:

Antipode said...

Sorry to hear about lily. I didn't know her too well, but she seemed like a sweet pup.