Major Conflict in Theogony

Published: 2021-09-29 15:50:10
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Major conflicts in the Theogony (Essay) Having read the Theogony, I can briefly say that Hesiod tries to portray the similar connections of three generation of gods; as well as emphasizing the major conflicts between the matriarchal and patriarchal systems. When we look through what has come into existence first, we encounter with Chaos, which indicates the complication of things for a while. After Chaos, the great goddess Gaea, who is the head of the matriarchal system (symbolizing fertility), comes to life. She gives birth to the universe without the help of man, what we call parthenogenesis.
This demonstrates her magnificent power as a deity. In the matriarchal system women are considered magical because they are the only creatures that have the ability to give birth. This skill is very crucial for sustaining the cycle of nature. However, later, when the matriarchal system is overthrown  by the patriarchal, we  run into Zeus  who gives birth to Athena from his head  without a mate. The significance of this unusual birth is, now the male has the power to be the creator and the female power is transferred into male wisdom. After Gaea, Tartaros and Eros come to life.Then Gaia and Ouranos ( who used to be her consort) lay together (becomes her lover and husband) and bear the twelve Titans.
The last Titan, which she bears, is Kronos. She later bears the Kyklopes, who have one eye in the middle of their foreheads. Zeus uses them against the Titans in the war, which we see later in the poem. From the day they are born (the moment they come out of the womb), Gaea’s children hate their father. This is because Ouranos has hidden them in Gaea’s womb and has not let them return to light. Ouranos has done that because he is afraid that one of his sons may take his place.We see the conflict between the matriarchal and patriarchal here as the sons belong to Gaea, representing the feminine domination.
If one of the children overthrows his father then the matriarchal domination will take place and repress the patriarchal, which is not good for the men’s benefits. This event makes Gaea so angry that she looks for a way to take revenge. Cunningly, she provokes her sons and Kronos handles the task. She gives him a sharp-toothed knife and Kronos hacks off his father’s genitals by using it. The reason why Kronos castrates his father is owing to the fact that genitals are the organs which are used by man to produce.They are the symbol of man’s fertility. By slaying them, Kronos leaves his father powerless and  disabled.
Then the bloody drops scatters all around and some of them falls into the sea. As they are covered by the sea for a long time, white foam rises from them forming Aphorodite. Aphrodite is formed from sea due to the fact that sea represents the unconcious ( the hidden part / matriarchal’s repression by the patriarchal) as under the sea is relatively dark. The power of the unconcious is very sexual and this is why Aphodite represents ‘sexuality’.After Kronos falls in love with Rhea, she bears him illustrious children, including Zeus. During the birth, when each child moves from the sacred womb, Kronos starts to swallow him/her. He does this in spite of Rhea’s unceasing grief since his purpose is to prevent any other child from subduing his power.
It’s considerably ironic because he does the same thing (try to get rid of his own children) what Ouranos (his father) has done to him and his siblings. This again shows the conflict between the matriarchal and patriarchal systems. By swallowing each child, Kronos impedes the intervention of the feminine power.Hilariously, Kronos doesn’t realize that Zeus is taken away by witty Rhea. He thinks that he has swallowed him. In fact he has tricked by Rhea and has swallowed a stone instead given by her. Eventually he is defeated by his own destiny.
When Zeus gets his thunder and lightning power from his uncles, he becomes the mighty sky god of the universe. Nevertheless, some people like Prometheus are not content with that. He tries to steal Zeus’s power and tricks him. Getting aware of what’s going on, Zeus punishes him and puts him into chains. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a lesson out of that.One more time, he tries to deceive Zeus. This is the last drop, which drives Zeus crazy.
As a result, Zeus gives women as a punishment for men. It’s another specific example to the conflict. Women are considered very malice individuals as they are the rivals of the male domination and the punishment is seemed very harsh by the mankind. Later a struggle takes place between the Titans ( the old generation, coming from the matriarchal) and the Olympian gods ( the new generation coming from the patriarchal). This struggle signifies that the older generation tries to get power from the new.More explicitly, the matriarchal which has been supressed by the patriarchal, tries to find a way to come into the surface and be the authority again. However, at the end the Titans are defeated and they go to the Underworld.
This shows that the matriarchal system is not as powerful as it used to be. Nonetheless, Gaea doesn’t give up by the defeat and bear Typhoeus who is a snake with a hundred hands and he challanges Zeus. Being a snake, he represents the consort of the female. He is a threat to the patriarchal system. After a difficult fight, Zeus overcomes him and becomes victorious.With this the patriarchal system proves that it has the complete power to control the cosmos. The matriarchal is overwhelmed totally.
Then Zeus sleeps with Demeter and they together bear the beautiful Persephone, who is abducted by Aidoneus to the Underworld. When she is abducted, Demeter is in terrible pain and grief. However Zeus arranges Persephone’s marriage with Aidoneus without paying attention to what Demeter thinks. Persephone’s story is another example to the conflict. The patriarchal system wears down the matriarchal by taking what is important to them, by causing tremendous pain.Last of all, Zeus marries with Hera who is associated with the Great Goddess. When Hera marries Zeus, she becomes less important because she subordinates him.
It’s also because Zeus has used to be her consort when the cosmos has used to be ruled by the matriarchal system. Although Zeus betrays Hera all the time with other females, Hera remains sexually loyal to him. Zeus takes all these women because he is the father of all gods and everything. He subordinates the power of women and they become inferior to him. Hera becomes very jealous as Zeus continues to cheat on her.Due to her anger, she bears Hephaistos without the help of Zeus. However, Hephaistos is not glorious in some ways becuase he is crippled from his leg.
This shows that women’s (the matriarchal) power is not enough to bear children soundly anymore. Her power has been diminished  by the men. Seeing Hera challenging him, Zeus wants to take revenge. He makes love with Alkmene and she bears him Herakles. The reason why he gives the name Herakles to him is because it includes the word Hera in it, which makes Hera spiteful. Even in the name occasion, we observe the clash.I’ve tried to emphasize how the patriarchal gains power and becomes the leader of the universe.
As you see, there are many examples of the conflict, which is scattered in every level of the cosmos. The matriarchal tries many ways to hinder it, yet all its efforts are in vain. If we look at it from another perspective, it’s also because men takes over most of the hard jobs which requires tremendous energy such as fighting, hunting, trading and women comes after him (secondly in rank) mostly engaging with growing up children and doing housework. This changes the balances of the world and the patriarchal stands out instead of the matriarchal.

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