***A TRIBUTE TO PROMETHEUS FOR HIS GIFT OF FIRE!
A TRIBUTE TO PROMETHEUS:
FOR HIS GIFT OF FIRE!
(A GREEK LEGEND)
Prometheus or ‘foresight’, and his brother
Epimetheus or ‘afterthought’, -
Were sons of Titans Lapestus and Themis;
Who during the revolt of Titans against Zeus -
had sided the Gods!
So they had been tasked to fashion humans and
animals from water and mud, -
A task allotted by the Gods as their reward!
Prometheus made humans out of clay,
But in the image of the Gods, much to Zeus’
Goddess Athena had breathed life into them,
But Prometheus fell in love with his created
He wanted to bestow on them a special gift,
To make them superior to animals and uplift!
Prometheus was also given the task, –
Of creating a sacrificial procedure for the Gods, -
Which should become binding and forever last!
But Prometheus tricked the Gods by offering
bones and fats,
By wrapping them in an attractive sacrificial pack!
The good meat he had saved for mankind,
For he wanted them to survive and dine!
This angered Zeus who condemned all mortal men,
To languish in cold caves and eat raw meat of
He denied mankind that precious gift of fire,
With which Prometheus hoped to elevate mankind
For Zeus hoped that the human race would soon
Should this gift of fire be withheld by him!
THE GIFT OF FIRE!
Prometheus the benefactor, from the thunderbolts
of Zeus, -
Stole god’s flames and had them all confused!
In a fennel-stick he hid this fire, and gifted it to
He taught mankind how to control, - this raging
fire which was god’s very own!
The fire gave humans heat and light, cooked food
and comfort, - long denied!
A fire also got lit in human minds and hearts,
Igniting man’s creative passion in all his endeavors!
The quest for knowledge soon became an undying
Spreading amongst the Summerians, the Egyptians,
the Greeks and the Babylonians!
As civilizations rose and fell and men began to strive
and seek, -
Philosophy and science got developed by the Greeks!
Men invoked the God of Fire under various names,
Why should Prometheus suffer or be held to blame? !
The Rig Veda has eloquent verses on the Agni Devta,
And the Zoroastrians worship fire – enshrined in their
Holy Book the Zend Avesta!
VENGENCE OF ZEUS!
Therefore, truly speaking this vengeance of Zeus,
Has me even to this day - totally confused!
Zeus had Prometheus chained to a treacherous rock,
High up on the desolate mountain side of Caucasus!
Where an eagle gorged and devoured his liver every
Which regenerated itself at night as myths says, -
Since Prometheus was immortal unlike his created
He was condemned for life, with no sleep or rest
or moments respite, -
For becoming a rebel against injustice and helping
After thousands of years of suffering he was finally
When the valiant Hercules shot the eagle - setting
Shelley in his lyrical poem ‘Prometheus Unbound’,
Makes this ‘harbinger of fire’ a cult figure of history, -
Unlike ‘Prometheus Bound’ of the Greek dramatist
Shelley’s Prometheus refused to reconcile - since Zeus
he did not trust!
By overthrowing Zeus he destroyed tyranny, political
and religious intolerance,
And established unconditional liberty for mankind as
But the trickster Zeus also punished the humans through
a beautiful maiden Pandora,
By marrying her off to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus.
And by presenting her with a jeweled box, which had
made her very curious!
Moment Pandora opened this forbidden box to look
Plague, diseases and all kinds of miseries flew up
Strangely enough ‘hope’ was the last to came out of
Perhaps it was not to be treated as a misfortune after
It inspired mankind with the ability to aspire and
For with ‘fire’ and ‘hope’ mankind was forever
- Raj Nandy
11 Dec 09
FOOT NOTES: -
Another outcome of my research work, where I had to exclude
many minor Mythological details! Prometheus was initially a confident
of Zeus, but fell from his favour by giving FIRE to mankind! Zeus feared
that with this gift of Fire, humans would become greater than Gods!
Because of Prometheus, only bones & fats are offered as sacrifices to the Gods!
Pandora was the first women to be sent in the kingdom of men
by Zeus! By ensuring that all successive mankind took birth form her womb & by releasing all miseries from the Pandora's Box, Zeus ensured that humans remain forever as mortals & suffer death! Shelley in keeping with the Spirit of the Romantic Movement of his period, sets
free Greek dramatist Aeschylus' -'PrometheusBound', by composing
his - ‘Prometheus Unbound’!
In keeping with the spirit of the French Revolution, Shelley’s Prometheus rebels against the established authority of Zeus the tyrant, and overthrows Him to establish a new social order, justice and liberty - for Mankind!
******ALL COPY RIGHTS ARE RESERVED BY RAJ NANDY*****
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