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The Role of Women in Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days

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Length: 744 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
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The role of women in Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days is outstandingly subordinate. There are a number of times in Hesiod's text that despises women, being mortal, immortal, or flesh-eating monsters. The overall impression of women from Theogony and Works and Days, leads one to believe that Hesiod is a misogynist.

The very creation of women was set as a punishment to man because Prometheus, son of Iapetos, tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and then, with the tube of a fennel, steals fire to give to mankind. Zeus then proclaimed, "To set against the fire I shall give them an affliction in which they will all delight as they embrace their own misfortune." Out of Zeus' anger came Pandora, the first woman. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mold women from the earth and water, Athene to dress and adorn her, Temptation to give her necklaces of gold, and Hermes to implant a bitch's mind and a thief's temper. Hesiod describes women as a "precipitous trap, more than mankind can manage." Hesiod states, "even so as a bane for mortal men has high-thundering Zeus created women, conspirators ...


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... as an affliction for mankind proves that Hesiod looked down upon women with disdain. The depiction of Echidna as a beautiful woman and terrible beast represents his vision of the female race. His compassion for anti-feminist ethics and absolute distrust of women is present in both his books. His misogynistic random sucker-punches at the opposite sex were common belief in ancient Greece. "He who believes a woman, believes cheaters." His teachings of women were common belief in ancient Greece and his prejudices were completely misogynistic.


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