Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
Prometheus Unbound (1818-19)
Things to Consider:
- Mythological Allusions
- Closet Drama
- Comparison to Byron's Manfred
- Why, according to Shelley, has he chosen to eliminate the
reconciliation between Prometheus and Jupiter?
- How, according to Shelley, does Prometheus compare to
- Explain Prometheus's situation at the beginning of the
- Why does Prometheus summon the phantom of Jupiter?
- Explain: "O'er all things but thyself I gave thee power, /
And my own will" (1.273-74).
- How, according to Panthea, has Jesus's name become a curse?
- Explain lines 1.625-28.
- Explain the exchange between Asia and Demogorgon.
- Explain lines 3.4.193-204.
Other Discussion Questions:
- How, according to the editors, is Shelley's portrayal of
revolution in Prometheus Unbound different from his
presentation of it in his earlier works such as Queen Mab?
- Explain: "The imagery which I have
employed will be found in many instances to
have been drawn from the operations of the
human mind, or from those external actions by
which they are expressed" (810).
- Explain: "Poetry is a mimetic art" (811).
- Explain: "Didactic poetry is my abhorrence" (812).
- Explain Shelley's metaphor of the seeds.
- Why does Prometheus pity Jupiter?
- What request does Prometheus make in 1.73? Why?
- Explain: "[T]hou art more God / Being wise and kind"
- Describe the two worlds that Earth identifies (See also
- Explain Prometheus's response to the repeated curse.
- Why has Mercury come down to speak to Prometheus?
- Explain the Chorus's speech in 1.539-63.
- Why does Earth summon a chorus of spirits?
- Explain 2.4.47-48.
- Explain: "[S]peech created thought, / Which is the measure
of the universe" (2.4.72-73).
- Explain: "All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil"
- Explain: "[T]he deep truth is imageless" (2.4.116).
- Why is Panthea unable to endure the radiance of Asia's
- How is Asia's soul "an enchanted Boat" (2.5.72)?
- What is Jupiter describing in 3.1.37-44?
- Explain the image of the vulture and the snake (3.4.119).
- What change has occurred on Earth following the fall of
- Explain the final stanza.