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Prometheus Bound (Browning Translation)

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By: (c. 525/524-456/455 BC)

Whether or not it was actually written by Aeschylus, as is much disputed, "Prometheus Bound" is a powerful statement on behalf of free humanity in the face of what often seem like the impersonal, implacable Forces that rule the Universe. As one of the most compelling rebel manifestos ever composed, it has appealed not only to the expected host of scholars of Greek drama, but also to a fascinatingly free-spirited array of translators, especially since the early 19th century; Percy Bysshe Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, and activist-poet Augusta Webster are among those who have tried their poetic and linguistic powers at rendering it into English. Elizabeth Barrett Browning published not one but two completely different translations of it, the first in 1833 when she was twenty-seven years old and the second eighteen years later. It is this second, far greater, translation presented here.

First Page:

THE POETICAL WORKS OF ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

IN SIX VOLUMES

LONDON SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE 1890

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING'S POETICAL WORKS

VOL. I.

[Illustration: Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett. at the age of nine. Engraved by G. Cooke from a Drawing by Charles Hayter. London: Published by Smith, Elder & C^o. 15. Waterloo Place.]

PREFATORY NOTE.

In a recent "Memoir of Elizabeth Barrett Browning," by John H. Ingram, it is observed that "such essays on her personal history as have appeared, either in England or elsewhere, are replete with mistakes or misstatements." For these he proposes to substitute "a correct if short memoir:" but, kindly and appreciative as may be Mr. Ingram's performance, there occur not a few passages in it equally "mistaken and misstated."

1. "Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward Moulton Barrett, was born in London on the 4th of March, 1809." Elizabeth was born, March 6, 1806, at Coxhoe Hall, county of Durham, the residence of her father.[A] "Before she was eleven she composed an epic on 'Marathon... Continue reading book >>


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