Aeschylus and Percy Bysshe Shelley. “Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound” (edited by John Lauristen), Pagan Press, 2011.
John Lauristen gives us a new look at two literary classics in his new book. It contains “Prometheus Bound” by Aeschylus and translated by Thomas Medwin and Shelley and Shelley’s own “Prometheus Unbound”. What we learn by John Lauristen is biographical and textual evidence that it was Shelley who was the primary translator of the Aeschylus drama yet it was not published until after his death. Shelley’s translation is masterful and the poet worked on it for many years. He was beset with the theme of rebellion against tyranny which is a major part of the drama as well as in Shelley’s “Prometheus” and Goethe’s. He then goes to do a comparison between the Aeschylus work and Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound”. We all are aware that Shelley was master of the sonnet and he was also master of more verse forms than any other poet in the English language. Shelley was also a master of poetic dialogue. Lauristen maintains that the Shelley/Medwin translation (names intentionally reversed) of “Prometheus Bound” is a forgotten text yet it is the best suited for stage performance. Also included in this volume are looks at “Prometheus Unbound” by John Addington Symonds and the poem “Prometheus” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, newly translated from the German.
- Posted in: Uncategorized