Throughout history, therehas been millions or billions of poems that have been written by humans.Keeping in mind such humongous number of possible poems there have been, itwould be safe to say that only a handful of them are able to be recognized in aworldwide level. Whether the reason behind a poem being recognized to suchlevel could be both positive or negative, it does not change the fact that a feware able to reach that level.
The poem, “Prometheus” by Lord Byron is one ofthose poems that were able to standout from the rest and gain its spot with therest of the well-known poems. It is no surprise it stood out from the resteither as the poem is not only rich in poetic devices, but it also containspowerful themes that depicts an amazing image inside the readers mind. Everyone knowns rhymes and some sort of musical patternare generally one of the factors that makes something a poem, but a poem doesnot always have to rhyme nor have a pattern in order to be one since that isonly one of the many parts of the skeleton that shapes a poem into being agreat one and stand out from others. In this case for example, “Prometheus” iswritten in a mythological tone which can be based on its diction, it also containsa rhyme scheme, although it is not in a constant pattern.
Even though it hasrhymes, “Prometheus” does not have any constant meter patterns or musicalpatterns. This makes the poem be classified as a free verse poem since thereare no constant rhyme, meter, or any sort of musical pattern. Looking more intothe skeleton of this poem one can see that it contains only three stanzas whichalthough is not much it is not a small amount either. Not only that but thefact that it is capable to deliver such strong feelings by simply using greattransitions and an amazing use of poetic devices shows how great of a poet LordByron was by writing an amazing poem and making every single one of the stanzasdeliver their own strong message. Lord Byron does this by first talking aboutPrometheus suffering due to the punishment Zeus gave Prometheus in the firststanza while having an ABBACCDDEEFGGF rhyme pattern. Lord Byron then proceedsto depict how cruel the punishment is, yet regardless of how painful it is, Prometheus’will does not bend.
This is all depicted in the second stanza which has a ABBACCCCDDBDEEDBFFGGrhyme pattern. Lastly the third stanza has an ABBACCBDBDEFEFCCGGHHGIGIC rhymescheme. Here, Lord Byron not only focuses on Prometheus, but he also brings upthe effects that Prometheus actions had on humans. A good poem not only relies on its structure, but it alsoheavily relies on the figurative language that it is used and how it is used.
“Prometheus”is one of those poems that contains a distinctively large amount of poetic devices.The strongest poetic device that stands out the most is symbolism. Lord Byron usesthe fire that Prometheus stole from the Olympus and gave it to the humansmaking the fire symbolize enlightenment and awakening. The way fire issymbolized in such way is due to the fact that Prometheus giving the fire tothe humans caused them to be enlighten by it, since the fire granted them powerwhich greatly helps human chances of survival in this unfair world. Fire is notthe only example of symbolism used in this poem. Zeus is a symbol itself in thepoem. Zeus is portrayed as evil and oppressive showing how extreme and unfairhis use of power can be.
In other words, Zeus is a symbol for a tyrant as heabuses his power and punishes Prometheus unfairly. Like Zeus, Prometheus isalso a symbol in the poem, but he is the way he is portrayed is completelyopposite from the way Zeus is. Prometheus is portrayed as the hero, or an angelin this poem.
He risked his own life and sacrificed his freedom in order toprovide the fire to the humans. To summarize the use of symbolism in this poemit can all be narrowed down to a fight between evil and good, like the fightbetween god and lucifer. The use of imagery is also one of the biggest devices usedin this poem as Lord Byron is able to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Inall three stanzas Lord Byron succeeds in creating an image that helps thereader mentally visualize what is going on in the poem. Starting with the firststanza, “What was thy recompense? / A silent suffering, and intense; / Therock, the vulture, and the chain” (5-7). Here Lord Byron starts the poem off bysuccessfully describing the situation in which Prometheus is on by making thereader imagine Prometheus being chained to a rock, while a vulture eats hisliver. Since Prometheus’ liver only continues to grow again, it makes thereader feel sympathetic towards Prometheus as he is stuck in an eternalsuffering.
In the second stanza Lord Byron decided to not only show the readerhow cruel Prometheus’ punishment is, but when Lord Byron said, “And in thySilence was his Sentence” (31). It shows how strong Prometheus’ will is byrefusing to talk or show any sort of regret for his actions. The reader is ableto imagine Prometheus’ suffering but in silence as he won’t allow for his willto break. Lastly, Lord Byron decides to switch the spotlight from Prometheus tohumanity in the third stanza.
While still talking about Prometheus, Lord Byronadds humanity’s point of view towards Prometheus and his punishment. The waythis is done is by making Prometheus the symbol for mankind. He is pictured asa savior in the reader’s mind when Lord Byron said, “Thou art a symbol and asign / To Mortals of their fate and force; / Like thee, Man is in part divine,”(45-47). Based on all the mentioned poetic devices as well as themain uses of imagery, being able to identify the themes becomes really simple.One of the biggest themes in this poem is clearly death. Lord Byron takes histime to deliberately describe the punishment that was given to Prometheus andgo into detail regarding how cruel and painful it is. Prometheus is subjugatedto such punishment yet is unable to die making his suffering last eternally.Not all themes in this poem are necessarily negative since there is also thetheme of rebellion and the entire good versus evil idea that is created by LordByron.
Prometheus teaches humanity that although he is being punished he did washe believed was right and rebelled against the tyrant that abuses his power, inthis case being Zeus. Lord Byron finishes the poem by saying “Triumphant where itdares defy, / And making Death a Victory” (58-59). In other words, he is sayingthat there are things in life that are worth dying for. This creates the strongtheme of protest against power and corruption. Given these points, “Prometheus” by LordByron is a splendid poem that truly deserves to be well-known for its greatness.The synchrony between the structure, the poetic devices, the imagery that it createsand the themes it holds is simply marvelous. They are all in such great balancethat ultimately allow for this poem to be delivered in an amazing way.
With simplythree stanzas, Lord Byron is able to deliver powerful and moving themes thanks tohis use of poetic devices due to his transitioning and making sure everything connectsallowing for each part help each other flourish making it the amazing poem thatit is