Random Thoughts

Reading the past

... I don't know much about mythology

by Carol Nelson

I've been trying to read a very old story. I mean OLD. The author is long gone, but it seems reassuring somehow to still be able to read his words which have come down to us through the ages. The author is Aeschylus. He was a Greek dramatist and to think that I, American (by way of Norway, Ireland, England and Wales) can understand what he had said back in 500 something B.C. boggles my mind.

The story I am working on is "Prometheus Bound". Aeschylus wrote tragedies and his characters were gods. He gave dignity and meaning to his dramas, using costumes and masks and is considered to be the Father of the Greek drama.

The greatest of the gods was Zeus who ruled nature and the heavens: the sun, moon, rain, thunder and lightning. In this story, Prometheus, his victim, is "bound" at the top of the world as punishment for helping mankind by giving us fire and hope. He is parched, toasted, roasted by the sun and made a buffet for eagles for his compassion.

This quote, as well as many others, is attributed to Aeschylus:

             "He who learns must suffer, and
              even in our sleep, pain that
              cannot forget falls drop by drop
              upon the heart, and in our own
              despair, against our will, comes
              wisdom to us by the awful grace
              of God."

March 2, 2007

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