Assignment Twenty-three: How does the view of ethical cause and effect in history in Works and Days compare with the furies’ view in The Eumenides?
Works and Days was a book written by Hesiod to communicate the important things in life, and how to handle different situations. His stance on justice was very clear. If you go against justice, Zeus would punish you. Justice was supposedly Zeus’s daughter, and he listened to her. If someone didn’t get properly punished for his deeds, Justice would nag at Zeus until they were dealt with. he emphasized the importance of doing justice and the consequences of doing evil. Integrity is what makes a person worthy of good things, and those who have integrity will live long and prosperous lives. Those who are lacking in integrity will never live fulfilled lives, and will always find themselves wanting in one area or another. Works and Days dealt with overall justice and talked about it in many areas.In The Eumenides, the furies’ view of justice was very similar. They believed that justice could only be brought with violence. They took this approach while attempting to deal with Orestes. The furies’ view of ethical cause and effect had a lot to do with revenge. It was constant revenge. The furies only came after a person when that person killed a member of the family. What is strange is that they seem more interested in matriarch murder than in patriarch. The Eumenides spoke about only one kind of justice. The justice that this book spoke of referred only to one is one killed their parents (or another of their kin).
Both The Eumenides and Works and Days talk extensively of justice. However, they vary in their interpretation of what justice is. In Works and Days, justice is divine rulings given by Zeus, as well as a physical goddess. In The Eumenides, justice is revenge upon those who have killed your relatives. Although these two literary works support similar theories of ethical cause and effect, they apply the theory differently. Both agree that good ethics yield good results and bad ethics yield disaster. However, Works and Days applies this theory to many different aspects of life, and the Eumenides applies it to only one, the murder of one’s parents.