Throughout history, there
has been millions or billions of poems that have been written by humans.
Keeping in mind such humongous number of possible poems there have been, it
would be safe to say that only a handful of them are able to be recognized in a
worldwide level. Whether the reason behind a poem being recognized to such
level could be both positive or negative, it does not change the fact that a few
are able to reach that level. The poem, “Prometheus” by Lord Byron is one of
those poems that were able to standout from the rest and gain its spot with the
rest of the well-known poems. It is no surprise it stood out from the rest
either as the poem is not only rich in poetic devices, but it also contains
powerful themes that depicts an amazing image inside the readers mind.

            Everyone knowns rhymes and some sort of musical pattern
are generally one of the factors that makes something a poem, but a poem does
not always have to rhyme nor have a pattern in order to be one since that is
only one of the many parts of the skeleton that shapes a poem into being a
great one and stand out from others. In this case for example, “Prometheus” is
written in a mythological tone which can be based on its diction, it also contains
a rhyme scheme, although it is not in a constant pattern. Even though it has
rhymes, “Prometheus” does not have any constant meter patterns or musical
patterns. This makes the poem be classified as a free verse poem since there
are no constant rhyme, meter, or any sort of musical pattern. Looking more into
the skeleton of this poem one can see that it contains only three stanzas which
although is not much it is not a small amount either. Not only that but the
fact that it is capable to deliver such strong feelings by simply using great
transitions and an amazing use of poetic devices shows how great of a poet Lord
Byron was by writing an amazing poem and making every single one of the stanzas
deliver their own strong message. Lord Byron does this by first talking about
Prometheus suffering due to the punishment Zeus gave Prometheus in the first
stanza while having an ABBACCDDEEFGGF rhyme pattern. Lord Byron then proceeds
to 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 ABBACCCCDDBDEEDBFFGG
rhyme pattern. Lastly the third stanza has an ABBACCBDBDEFEFCCGGHHGIGIC rhyme
scheme. Here, Lord Byron not only focuses on Prometheus, but he also brings up
the effects that Prometheus actions had on humans.

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            A good poem not only relies on its structure, but it also
heavily 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 uses
the fire that Prometheus stole from the Olympus and gave it to the humans
making the fire symbolize enlightenment and awakening. The way fire is
symbolized in such way is due to the fact that Prometheus giving the fire to
the humans caused them to be enlighten by it, since the fire granted them power
which greatly helps human chances of survival in this unfair world. Fire is not
the only example of symbolism used in this poem. Zeus is a symbol itself in the
poem. Zeus is portrayed as evil and oppressive showing how extreme and unfair
his use of power can be. In other words, Zeus is a symbol for a tyrant as he
abuses his power and punishes Prometheus unfairly. Like Zeus, Prometheus is
also a symbol in the poem, but he is the way he is portrayed is completely
opposite from the way Zeus is. Prometheus is portrayed as the hero, or an angel
in this poem. He risked his own life and sacrificed his freedom in order to
provide the fire to the humans. To summarize the use of symbolism in this poem
it can all be narrowed down to a fight between evil and good, like the fight
between god and lucifer.

            The use of imagery is also one of the biggest devices used
in this poem as Lord Byron is able to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. In
all three stanzas Lord Byron succeeds in creating an image that helps the
reader mentally visualize what is going on in the poem. Starting with the first
stanza, “What was thy recompense? / A silent suffering, and intense; / The
rock, the vulture, and the chain” (5-7). Here Lord Byron starts the poem off by
successfully describing the situation in which Prometheus is on by making the
reader imagine Prometheus being chained to a rock, while a vulture eats his
liver. Since Prometheus’ liver only continues to grow again, it makes the
reader feel sympathetic towards Prometheus as he is stuck in an eternal
suffering. In the second stanza Lord Byron decided to not only show the reader
how cruel Prometheus’ punishment is, but when Lord Byron said, “And in thy
Silence was his Sentence” (31). It shows how strong Prometheus’ will is by
refusing to talk or show any sort of regret for his actions. The reader is able
to imagine Prometheus’ suffering but in silence as he won’t allow for his will
to break. Lastly, Lord Byron decides to switch the spotlight from Prometheus to
humanity in the third stanza. While still talking about Prometheus, Lord Byron
adds humanity’s point of view towards Prometheus and his punishment. The way
this is done is by making Prometheus the symbol for mankind. He is pictured as
a savior in the reader’s mind when Lord Byron said, “Thou art a symbol and a
sign / To Mortals of their fate and force; / Like thee, Man is in part divine,”

            Based on all the mentioned poetic devices as well as the
main 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 his
time to deliberately describe the punishment that was given to Prometheus and
go into detail regarding how cruel and painful it is. Prometheus is subjugated
to 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 the
theme of rebellion and the entire good versus evil idea that is created by Lord
Byron. Prometheus teaches humanity that although he is being punished he did was
he believed was right and rebelled against the tyrant that abuses his power, in
this case being Zeus. Lord Byron finishes the poem by saying “Triumphant where it
dares defy, / And making Death a Victory” (58-59). In other words, he is saying
that there are things in life that are worth dying for. This creates the strong
theme of protest against power and corruption.

            Given these points, “Prometheus” by Lord
Byron 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 creates
and the themes it holds is simply marvelous. They are all in such great balance
that ultimately allow for this poem to be delivered in an amazing way. With simply
three stanzas, Lord Byron is able to deliver powerful and moving themes thanks to
his use of poetic devices due to his transitioning and making sure everything connects
allowing for each part help each other flourish making it the amazing poem that
it is

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