Theogony

by

Hesiod

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The Muses Character Analysis

The Muses, the nine daughters of Zeus and Memory, are goddesses who are patrons of the creative arts. At the beginning of the poem, Hesiod claims that they appeared to him once as he tended sheep as a young man, and taught him the art of poetry and how to sing and compose songs. If granted the Muses’ favor, men are blessed with the admiration of their peers, beautiful speech, and sound judgment. The Muses names are Clio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania, and Calliope.

The Muses Quotes in Theogony

The Theogony quotes below are all either spoken by The Muses or refer to The Muses. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Cycles of Succession Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Theogony published in 2009.
Theogony Quotes

From the Muses of Helicon let us begin our singing, that haunt Helicon's great and holy mountain, and dance on their soft feet round the violet-dark spring and the altar of the mighty son of Kronos.

Related Characters: Zeus, Kronos, The Muses
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Whomsoever great Zeus' daughters favour among the kings that Zeus fosters, and turn their eyes upon him at his birth, upon his tongue they shed sweet dew, and out of his mouth the words flow honeyed; and the peoples all look to him as he decides what is to prevail with his straight judgments. His word is sure, and expertly he makes a quick end of even a great dispute. This is why there are prudent kings: when the peoples are wronged in their dealings, they make amends for them with ease, persuading them with gentle words. When he goes among a gathering, they seek his favour with conciliatory reverence, as if he were a god, and he stands out among the crowd.

Such is the Muses' holy gift to men.

Related Characters: Zeus, The Muses
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Farewell now, you dwellers in Olympus, and you islands, continents, and the salt sea between. But now, Olympian Muses, sweet of utterance, daughters of aegis­ bearing Zeus, sing of the company of goddesses, all those who were bedded with mortal men, immortal themselves, and bore children resembling the gods.

Related Characters: Zeus, The Muses
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
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Theogony PDF

The Muses Character Timeline in Theogony

The timeline below shows where the character The Muses appears in Theogony. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Theogony
Family and Genealogy Theme Icon
The Natural and Divine Worlds Theme Icon
Hesiod begins his poem by invoking the Muses. He claims that the Muses appeared to him while he was tending sheep as a... (full context)