Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2022 Grant A Braught
Hope’s interpretation within Works and Days is a nuanced and particular issue on whether Hesiod portrays Hope as good or evil. This paper examines the arguments from the ongoing scholarly debate on whether Hope should be interpreted as good or bad and introduces why Hesiod’s portrayal of Hope is a lesson on its use for his audience. The previous scholarship argues for both interpretations of Hope but does not dive further into why Hesiod discusses it nor how he wanted humankind to interact with it. In short, the importance of Hope to a reader of Works and Days. While Hesiod does not explicitly state an example of good Hope in his letter to Perses, only of evil Hope, he implies good Hope is attached to work. Thus, the portrayal of Hope in Works and Days is nuanced between good and evil since Hesiod explicitly warns against the despair and delusion that evil Hope can bring but portrays good Hope as work that humans can use to make the future better. This paper concludes that Hesiod displays Hope as very precarious and thus should interpret Hope as nuanced between good and evil. The use of Hesiodic Hope is an incentive to work for a better future but to be very vigilant against false Hope that can lead to despair and delude expectations about the future.
Braught, Grant, "The Knife Between Despair and Delusion: Tragically Beautiful Hope Living on the Blade in Hesiod’s Works and Days" (2022). CMC Senior Theses. 3062.