Comparing The Tale Of Hesiod, Works And Days And The Theogony

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Powerful and harsh are the gods of ancient Greece. They are to be respected, worshipped and feared in order to live a peaceful and long life. Hesiod represents these gods in similar but contrasting ways through the tale of Prometheus and Pandora in his poems, Works and Days and The Theogony. Though both poems are different and take on a different form they are both considered wisdom literature because we learn a lesson of right and wrong from the tales being told. In these poems we examine the gods through the eyes of the man working for a living and through the eyes of the gods fighting for their place among themselves in Olympus.
Hesiod’s poem Works and Days “describes a bitter dispute between Hesiod and his brother over the disposition
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In this myth the gods are no longer against man but against each other and are power hungry. Powell points out that the gods act as “tricksters”, “Ogres”, “sexual victims”, and are “dangerous enemies”. The gods are still vengeful and ready to strike down anyone that threatens them, especially when it comes to their power. Zeus is especially fearful of Prometheus because he too is very wise. He is truly a great threat to Zeus and his top spot as god of the gods. When Zeus saw through Prometheus’ trick he immediately “planned in his vengeful spirit a terrible future for mortal men, one they could never evade” (Theogony, 549-550). Men now would live a life of constant and unforgiving labor. This time around after Prometheus deceived Zeus twice he had Prometheus suffer the worst punishment of all. Zeus ordered the children of the underworld, Kratos and Bia, to bind Prometheus to a pillar outside of the city. Powell mentions that this punishment was usually reserved for vicious criminals and also makes the connection that Jesus also suffered a death such as this. Prometheus was bound to the pillar “in inescapable fetters… and sent a long-winged eagle to gnaw his incorruptible liver” (Theogony 521-523). His liver grew back everyday so he had to relive that suffering day in and day out. Zeus is much more unforgiving in The Theogony because he is not only being deceived and made a fool of but his power as ruler of all is being threatened. When one’s power is being threatened they will do anything to cut down who ever is in their way of keeping that power. This instance can be seen through all of history and even today. Whether it is a king cutting down those who threaten his throne, a congressman who is about to lose the vote, or even the jock or queen bee of high school this scenario proves to be true through and

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