Saturday, February 11, 2012

I am Prometheus

I am Prometheus.

I gave life to my two children, ages 23 and 18, and I am trying to impart to them a little knowledge. You know, fire them up, light up their world so that they can find their way in the dark. It is my gift to them.

Picking up a copy of Aeschylus' play Prometheus Bound, I ask each in turn, "Who is Prometheus?" My older daughter was on the right track, but she thought he was the "boulder" guy. My son could not take his eyes off of a Will Ferrell movie, and roars in answer "boring". I am left standing there, alone and unanswered.

Classic Greek mythology viewed  Prometheus as a prankster who for his hubris must suffer daily, the crow would eat his liver and it would regenerate, so that he would again endure the pain. Aeschylus depicted Prometheus as wise and caring, a giver of fire and light. His punishment to be buried.

I am Prometheus, giver of light, destined to be punished for my gift. All I can do is, like Prometheus rage against the injustice.

Now it is happening, threat gives place to performance.
The earth rocks; thunder echoing from the depth,
Roars in answer; fiery lightening twist and flash.
Dust dances in whirling fountain...

O Earth, my holy mother,
O sky, where sun and moon
Give light to all in turn,
You see how I am wronged!

Aeschylus, lines 1080 -1093.

The rock on which Prometheus is chained, collapses and he is buried beneath the weight of the world.