Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound

Synopsis

The titanic and tragic figure of Prometheus, so familiar to readers of Goethe, Shelley, or Karl Marx, continues to capture the modern imagination. In fact, a simplified image of Prometheus--an image that has little to do with the complex figure created by Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound--has become more prominent and influential than the play itself. The translators, James Scully and C. John Herington, accentuate the play's true power, drama, and relevance to modern times. Aeschylus originally wrote Prometheus Bound as part of a tragic trilogy, and this translation is unique in including the extant fragments of the companion plays.

Excerpt

The Greek Tragedy in New Translations is based on the conviction that poets like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides can only be properly rendered by translators who are themselves poets. Scholars may, it is true, produce useful and perceptive versions. But our most urgent present need is for a re-creation of these plays--as though they had been written, freshly and greatly, by masters fully at home in the English of our own times. Unless the translator is a poet, his original is likely to reach us in crippled form: deprived of the power and pertinence it must have if it is to speak to us of what is permanent in the Greek. But poetry is not enough; the translator must obviously know what he is doing, or he is bound to do it badly. Clearly, few contemporary poets possess enough Greek to undertake the complex and formidable task of transplanting a Greek play without also "colonializing" it or stripping it of its deep cultural difference, its remoteness from us. And that means depriving the play of that crucial otherness of Greek experience--a quality no less valuable to us than its closeness. Collaboration between scholar and poet is therefore the essential operating principle of the series. In fortunate cases scholar and poet co-exist; elsewhere we have teamed able poets and scholars in an effort to supply, through affinity and intimate collaboration, the necessary combination of skills.

An effort has been made to provide the general reader or student with first-rate critical introductions, clear expositions of translators' principles, commentary on difficult passages, ample stage directions, and glossaries of mythical and geographical terms encountered in the plays. Our purpose throughout has been to make the reading of the . . .

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