The Idea of the Muse in Hesiod and Homer The custom of appealing to the muses at the outset of a work is a curious one by today’s standards; very few modern authors feel the need to ask a metaphysical being to help them write. It is important to understand why the Greek chose to ask for guidance from the muses, but it is also important to realize the underlying implications of such an appeal.

In The Odyssey by Homer and Theogony by Hesiod we see an intriguing dichotomy begin to emerge, one marked by a clear distinction between masculinity and femininity. Hesiod and Homer’s respective appeals are quite different, and this discrepancy echoes the difference between The Odyssey and Theogony in general. To refer to Hesiod’s call to the muses as an appeal is correct, but also misleading. It is indeed a request for assistance in the story he wishes to tell, but it goes far beyond that, drifting in and out of a history of the muses themselves, just as Hesiod will later discuss his personal history.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

The appeal to the muses, like his works themselves, have a peculiar feeling not of poetry removed from the course of history but rather as an intricate exposition of all things, grand and small, extraordinary and quotidian, reveling in their beauty and power, but at the same time respecting them. His talk of his family echoes this as well; although he is primarily concerned with the Gods, he is not oblivious to the everyday struggle of those around him. Hesiod’s appeal to the muses is extensive, and detail-oriented, and he does not ask for help but once, a good deal into the work: “Farewell now, children of Zeus, and grant me delightful singing.” He is clearly beneath the Gods, and h! is prose shows this; he uses many phrases to express his inferiority to them, referring to the muses as “utterly beautiful,” “for ever,” “mighty,” and other superlatives which demonstrate that he is below them, and in need of their help. In the work of Homer, w..