Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Imagery of Prometheus Bound reflected in the crucifixion?

As I continue with my audio course on the "Age of Pericles" I was intrigued by an observation Professor McInerny made about the play "Prometheus Bound". He pointed out that Prometheus was made to suffer because by giving fire to mankind he not only made civilization possible but he made communication with the gods possible through the ritual burning of sacrificial victims (the smoke was deemed the medium of communication). If you consider the imagery of Prometheus' punishment, it actually almost parallels the imagery of the crucifixion. Prometheus, a divine being who is suffering for providing a conduit for humans to communicate with god(s) is "pinned" and an eagle tears open his right side to consume his liver.

I had heard lectures about Greek tragedies before that touched in this play but the point about the fire making it possible for man to create sacrificial smoke to communicate with the gods was never made.