Page:Prometheus Unbound - Shelley.djvu/11

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


PREFACE.


The Greek tragic writers, in selecting as their subject any portion of their national history or mythology, employed in their treatment of it a certain arbitrary discretion. They by no means conceived themselves bound to adhere to the common interpretation or to imitate in story as in title their rivals and predecessors. Such a system would have amounted to a resignation of those claims to preference over their competitors which incited the composition. The Agamemnonian story was exhibited on the Athenian theatre with as many variations as dramas.

I have presumed to employ a similar license. The “Prometheus Unbound” of Æschylus supposed the reconciliation of Jupiter with his victim as the price of