Comparing Evil In Hesiod's Works And Genesis

analytical Essay
1817 words
1817 words

The Evil God: Comparing the Origin of Evil Between Hesiod’s Works and Genesis

Within Genesis, Works & Days, and Theogony the divine-human relationship is depicted where humans are initially blessed by the gods and live an effortless life until humans challenged them, thus leading to the existence of evil. Unlike Genesis, however, the origin of evil in Theogony is ambiguous because there is no clear indication of who is considered to be “in the right” between Prometheus and Zeus. While it can be argued that Prometheus should be held responsible for bringing evil due to his holier-than-thou attitude towards Zeus, it is important to consider that Zeus holds responsibility for condemning evil to Prometheus and humankind. In addition, Hesiod raises …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how hesiod's take on the origin of evil challenges the idea that humans are to blame for creating evil.
  • Explains that hesiod's works provide a more compelling introduction of evil than genesis. they analyze how humans act against their respective gods and what immediate consequences follow their actions.
  • Analyzes how the divine-human relationship in hesiod complicates the common notion that evil resulted in the disobedience of humans.
  • Compares the divine-human relationship in both works and the blame that is placed on the introduction of evil.
  • Analyzes how hesiod's concept of evil does not coincide with the traditional definition that evil is wrong. the fall of adam and eve provides an explanation of how inherently evil humans are.
  • Analyzes how the gods in hesiod's works are not as impartial and all-knowing as they are revered to be. prometheus reclaims fire back to humankind because it is the only way to "make a living."
  • Analyzes how hesiod complicates the idea that evil originates from humans by portraying a god that falls from the traditional characteristics of virtuous divine being.
  • Analyzes how hesiod provides a compelling story of the origin of evil as he denounces the idea that humans are solely at fault for introducing evil to society.

For instance, Zeus’ divine sense of justice is distorted because he places his ego before impartiality when he declares that he is “going to give [humans] Evil in exchange for fire, their very own Evil to love and embrace” (Hesiod 25). Zeus reveals that he will create evil because of the Prometheus’ actions, compared to evil coming into existence because of Prometheus. This slight distinction is compelling because the concept of evil does not exist until Zeus releases it onto humanity. One can argue that evil exists due to Prometheus and that without his actions, Zeus would not have made the final decision to release “Evil in exchange for fire” (Hesiod 25). However, to refute this, it was not Prometheus’ action of stealing fire back to humankind that initiated evil, rather it was Zeus’ decision to punish Prometheus that led to the creation of evil. Essentially, Prometheus does not go against the gods because Prometheus’ actions were not considered wrong by the gods until after the occurrence. On the other hand, in Genesis, Eve acknowledges that lest she be doomed to die, she should not eat from the forbidden tree; however, she “saw that the tree was good for eating…and she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave to her man, and he ate” (Alter 12). In this case, Eve’s own actions brought evil to humankind. God did not make the final decision to release evil, rather, evil is released due to how Eve utilized her free will. The commonality between both works is that both Prometheus and Adam and Eve disobey their respective gods. Comparatively, the main distinction lies in the divine-human relationship in both works and the blame that is placed on the introduction of evil. In Genesis, Adam and

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