Stage Positions of Prometheus and the Oceanides

face of a prisoner

In Prometheus Bound, the position of Prometheus in the classical Athenian theatre and the manner of the Oceanides’ entrance are unclear and controversial. Davidson’s hypothesis that Prometheus was bound to a structure in the orchestra seems to be most plausible.^ The Oceanides’ opening speech presents them as meek and deferential to their father, Oceanus. Their last words before Oceanus enters are to Prometheus, “Tell us, / tell us all of your / sorrows.”^ The Oceanides might perform a silent, close dance around Prometheus as he speaks. They would then move away to the edge of the orchestra when Oceanus entered. Such staging would dramatically enact Oceanus’s familial authority and emphasize Oceanus’s lack of intimacy with Prometheus. Such staging is consistent with the meager available evidence on tragic choral staging.^

Standpoints in communication are an important issue in Prometheus Bound. However the interactions of Prometheus, the Oceanides, and Oceanus are staged, they should be staged with sensitivity to communicative standpoints.

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