Creation Study Questions:
- What is the significance of the beginning of the poem? Why does Hesiod
begin with an invocation to the Muses?
- How does the world come into being? How do the processes of creation
change? What do you make of these different forms of reproduction? Pay
particular attention to the birth of Athena. What do you think of this
account of her birth? We will return to the significance of this when
we discuss the end of Aeschylus' Eumenides.
- How would you describe these gods? What is the socio-political structure
of the gods? Who is in charge? How is authority established?
- What can we learn from the Theogony about Greek culture at
the time this poem was performed? What was the role of the poets?
- How would you compare these creation stories to others you know? Can
you account for their similarities and/or differences?
Works and Days:
- What can we learn abou the function of animal sacrifice from Hesiod's
account of the Prometheus myth? What can we tell about the relationships
between gods and men, men and beasts, men and women from these accounts
- How do men and women come into being in Hesiod's poems? How does this
compare to the creation stories in Ovid? How are their differences significant?
- What do you think of the story of Pandora? How are the accounts different
in Theogony and Works and Days? How does this story compare
to the creation of Eve in the Bible? What are the similarities and differences?
If Pandora is the first woman, what does this passage indicate about
the essential nature of women?
- Compare Hesiod's and Ovid's account of the different ages of mortals.
What sort of model of history do they offer (decline, ascent, cyclical)?
How do different mythic models affect a society's view of their place
in history and the world?