Noman fate and we cannot blame or call

Noman Ali Shahzaib

Dr Naveed Rehan

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Research methodology

18-january-2018

           

 

                 Element of
fate is prominent in Aeschylus drama “Prometheus bound”?

            Fate is generally
unavoidable, inescapable and tragic. No one can avoid it because it is
predetermined, pre-destined and pre-planned. Definition of fate is Greek
Mythology is, “the three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans. Each
person was thought of as a spindle, around which the three Fates (Clotho,
Lachesis, and Atropos) would spin the thread of human destiny”. The victim of
fate can be any identity rather it is mortal or immortal, king or slave, God or
people etc. if we talk from the perspective of “Prometheus  bound” 
we come to know that Fate has a vital role in the lives of people of
that time .

            This
drama was written in ancient Greek’s time and that time it was believed that
the three Goddess determined human destines and in particular span of person’s
life and his allotment of misery and sufferings. All the personal flaws of
individual were related to his fate and it was believed that every act done by
that individual is planned by fate and we cannot blame or call a person
criminal on this basis, everyone was seemed to be innocent on behalf of this
terminology. In Greek’s ideology of fate was related with ideology of religion
they believe that every man was fated. These were three sister goddesses that
appeared in Greek and Roman mythology and were believed to have “spun out” a
child’s destiny at birth.  They determined when life began, when it ended,
and everything in between.  At the birth of each man they appeared
spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of life.  However not
everything was inflexible or pre-determined.  A man destined to become a
great warrior one day could still choose what he wanted to do on any given
day.  The gods could simply intervene with decisions that could be helpful
or harmful.  In a sense, they controlled the metaphorical life of every
mortal born.

            The
Fates were popular figures of cult worship in Greece and evidence suggests
there were sanctuaries to them in major cities such as Corinth, Sparta, and
Thebes.  Offerings were also made to the Fates during festival times in
Athens, Delphi, Olympia, and Sicyon and they are thought to have been of
benefit during the harvest season. Today, the origin and meaning of the word
‘fate’ is traced to the mythology of these three powerful goddesses.

            Author
of this drama was a religious orthodox. He believed in ancient school of
thoughts and so that is why he is promoting here his own justifications and
empowering the divine powers by making fate as a source and making the powerful
gods more and more powerful.

            Now
if we talk the role of fate from the perspective of the drama and we will come
to know how the fate played role in all characters life and make them suffer,
the whole drama revolve around a one character and that character is
“Prometheus”‘ who belongs to the titans group, there were two groups of gods
(1) Titans (2) Olympians. Prometheus belonged to group of titans and there was
a war between these two group and on other side Zeus was all powerful the
tragic event that happened there was that Prometheus supported the Olympians
and as a result Olympians won but in return he got nothing else than a painful
punishment.  

Prometheus is known for his intelligence and
as a champion of mankind. He exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret
knowledge and he defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress and
civilization. His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into conflict
with Zeus.  There was also an account,
stating that Prometheus had created men out of earth and water, at the very
beginning of the human race, or after the flood of Deucalion, when Zeus is said
to have ordered him and Athena to make men out of the mud, and the winds to
breathe life into them (Apollod. i. 7. § 1; Ov. Met. i. 81; Etym. Mag. s.
v. Promêtheus). Prometheus is said to have given to men something of all
the qualities possessed by the other animals (Horat Carm. i. 16. 13).

Prometheus is a god having complete knowledge of entire things it means he
have knowledge of future but he could also not escape from the fate, it can be
more evaluated from this text taken from text, “PROMETHEUS. Such contrivances have I invented for
mortals, yet, wretched that I am, I have no device by which I can escape from
my present sufferings.” In this exchange, Prometheus reveals what he sees as
the key irony of his situation. Even though he used his cleverness help humans,
he can’t escape his own present imprisonment. Part of his frustration here
seems to be that his talents are all chained up, too.

“PROMETHEUS. But what am I saying? I
have precise foreknowledge of all that will happen: none of my sufferings will
come as a surprise. I must bear my destined fate as easily as may be, knowing
that the power of Necessity is unchallengeable.” (Aeschylus, 101-105)

Prometheus
was a immortal god and he could see the future but when the question of fate
arose, he himself was victim of this cruel event and have to face the harsh
circumstances as a punishment for the act done by him in favor of poor
creatures( people) that is he stole the fire from the heaven and gave it to
humans, here fire relates to progress of mankind and Prometheus was lover of
mankind and Zeus was hater of mankind, Zeus was not in favor to see the humans
progressive and he wanted to finish the all race of humans but on other side
Prometheus wanted to make them aware from the latest inventions and
progressions.

            No one can escape from the fate
rather that is the most powerful god Zeus or any other,

“CHORUS.
Well, who is the steersman of Necessity?

PROMETHEUS.
The triple Fates and the unforgetting Furies.

CHORUS.
You mean that Zeus is less strong than these?

PROMETHEUS.
Certainly he cannot escape destiny. (Aeschylus, 515-520)”

             These lines are taken from the text and in
these lines there is dialogue between the chorus and Prometheus when he was
bounded at the top of a mountain and was led to bear harsh circumstances,
chorus came there to inquire him the reason behind this and he told that it’s
all because of fate, than chorus acquire the who is the all-powerful behind all
this? Than she was told that the triple fates, that is the three powerful
goddess are the fate creator of everyone and  
Their names were
Clotho, the one who
spins the thread of life; Lachesis, she who draws the lots and determines how long one lives,
by measuring the thread of life; and Atropos, the inevitable, she who chose how someone dies by cutting
the thread of life with her shears. It seems
that the Moirai controlled the fates of both mortals and gods alike.
It may be that Zeus was the only
one not bound by them, as an epithet that was used for him was Moiragetes (he
who commands the fate). Other sources suggest, though, that he was also bound
by the Moirai. It is also uncertain who their parents were; in some myths, they were daughters of Zeus and the Titan
goddess Themis, the goddess of
divine order. In others, they were daughters of Ananke, the personification of necessity

            “PROMETHEUS.
You will then come to the Cimmerian isthmus, right at the narrow gateway to the
lake; with a bold heart you must leave it, and cross the Maeotic channel. Your
crossing will in all future time be much spoken of among men, and the channel
will be named after it—Bosporus, “Strait of the Cow”. Having thus
left the land of Europe, you will have come to the continent of Asia. To
the CHORUS Do you think that the autocrat of the gods is equally brutal in
all his dealings? That god, because he wanted to sleep with this mortal girl,
imposed these wanderings on her! (Aeschylus, 729-738)

            Even Io
is a mortal character and she can wander over the face of world but we cannot
say her a free character as she found herself in the face of cow as a
punishment and later on she was followed by a herdsmen and later she was stung
by an insect know as gadfly, she was facing these hardships of life just
because of her fate as she was thought to amuse the Zeus for sexual purpose and
instead of making him happy she was facing such troubles in her life this is
all because of fate, the role of fate is prominent in all characters life and
they all are bound to obey because no one can deny and no one can escape from
this bitter truth.

“IO. What land, what people are these? Who should I say
this that I see, wind-battered, harnessed to the rocks? For what crime are you
thus being murdered?” (Aeschylus, 562-563)

            This is
when Io sees the Prometheus that how he was bounded by chains at such miserable
place and he was helpless and was pitiable, she got interpretation in her eyes
when she sees Prometheus, the way he is bound is the same thing as murder.

             Like practically every Greek tragedy you’ve
ever heard of, Prometheus bound is obsessed with the difference between fate
and free will. Most of the characters express the view that everything is
fated. And yet, most of them also keep telling one another to do various. It is
somehow clear that everything was fated and was already planned to happen and
even the time was also determined and no one can escape from it. It was the
bitter truth of that time the one who was selected by fate cannot escape from
it in any cast and fate influenced the lives of many characters and changed
their life in good or bad sense. It made lives of many character worse and made
them suffer a lot in their life to have some lesson and to learn something from
it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      
Work Cited

https://www.shmoop.com/prometheus-bound/quotes.html

https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/The_Fates/the_fates.html

 

 

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