Homer, The Odyssey , trans. Albert Cook (New York: W. W. Norton, 1967): XI, 577-9. Thomas Bulfinch in his Mythology, (New York: Dell, 1966) notes that Prometheus possessed a secret involving "the stability of Jove's throne" (27) that might have freed him from his torment, had he elected to reveal it and thereby win the chief Olympian's favour. Because he refused to abase himself by doing so, Prometheus has "become the symbol of magnanimous endurance of unmerited suffering" (27). However, Eustacia's misery is not entirely "unmerited" since it is by her own refusal to adapt or adjust herself to this new environment that she brings about her own suffering.

Thomas Hardy

Last modified November 2, 2000