Analysis of Hesiod's Works and Days

1781 Words Nov 21st, 2013 8 Pages
An Analysis of Hesiod’s The Works and Days

In Hesiod’s piece, “The Works and Days”, Hesiod addresses his brother Perses about how to be a good and virtuous man. Hesiod calls upon Zeus to direct his speech in explaining to Perses how to describe the true way to exist. He starts by explaining the difference between healthy competition and trouble and fighting, Hesiod says “It was never true that there was only one kind of strife. There have always been two on earth” (Lattimore, Hesiod’s Works and days, 2010, p.19). That one is evil and builds up towards war while the other is harsh, but promotes his strife with reward. He goes on to say that being clever and creating short cuts is not a trait worth having. Hesiod gives the example of when
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The concern of war and peace also assails Hesiod’s thoughts. Although Hesiod’s age is one of war and violence, he talks about what happened in previous wars in order to affirm the insanity and foolishness of violence and the importance of peace. An example of this would be when Hesiod talks about the bronze age saying, “and the ghastly action of Ares was theirs, and violence…destroyed beneath the hands of each other” (Lattimore, Hesiod’s Works and days, 2010, p.35). Hesiod also speaks of peace without a mythological allegory.
Furthermore, a significant part of The Works and Days deals with the relationships of people and families and the community. Hesiod perceives the end of his people, the people of the age of iron, as he says “Men will deprive their parents of all rights, as they grow old…men shall give their praise to violence” (Lattimore, Hesiod’s Works and days, 2010, p.41). Hesiod also gives advice on social behavior; he warns that the actions of a single man may adversely affect the whole community.
Everything above is a conglomeration of all the main concerns of Hesiod in his poem The Works and Days. After these, Hesiod gives a great deal of practical advice, like how to work and when to work. This advice encompasses an incredibly large

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