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Works and Days As Performance

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Hesiod's Works and Days (WD) uses all three possible modes: the speaker at different moments resembles the epic poet, who self-consciously performs but does not acknowledge the external audience; the elegaic or lyric poet who directly addresses the audience; and the poet who pretends to be presenting his sequence of thought from a time before the performance. Works and Days defines itself, from the start, as a poetic performance. It begins with an invocation of the Muses. The invocation of the Muses, however, formally marks the transition from preparation for performance to the performance itself - entry into what J.M. Foley calls the "performance arena". WD is in part a representation of a man who is speaking in the theater of the mind.

Keywords:Hesiod; Works and Days (WD)



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