Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote “Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains.” Poet Percy Shelley believed words could be stronger than shackles, and wrote poems intended to free mankind from their chains. Some have argued that poetry can do nothing--or as W.H. Auden said, "Poetry makes nothing happen." Yet Henry David Thoreau, Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were inspired by Shelley's words to live in the service of freedom and dignity, and they changed the world. The Unbinding Prometheus MOOC investigates both what Shelley's words have meant over time, and what his words might mean for us today.