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Earth in Hesiod's Theogony

            In Hesiod's Theogony, Gaia is anthropomorphised and depicted as the mother to the first generation of gods and humans as well as being the physical dwelling place for them both. Earth is at first portrayed as a weak mother figure but she devises a clever plan to liberate her children, which develop her into a stronger character. Hesiod portrays Earth as weak, unable to be defend her children as a mother would, as she is "strained and stretched" (Hesiod, Theogony, 157) allowing Ouranos to hide their children within her. Hesiod makes it seem as though Ouranos's "wickedness" (Hesiod, Theogony, 159) was too much for Earth to oppose alone, as she did nothing to try and liberate her entrapped children. Unable to defeat Ouranos alone "she thought of a clever" (Hesiod, Theogony, 161) plan involving one of her sons. She "addressed her sons" (Hesiod, Theogony, 162) and "urging them" (Hesiod, Theogony, 162) to help her, tries to convince them to help her stop Ouranos and his "wicked crime." (Hesiod, Theogony, 1165) When Kronos replies, Hesiod describes Earth as "his well-loved mother" (Hesiod, Theogony, 169), this is the first instance that Earth is described as a parental figure rather than just a creator, which mirrors her actions towards her children. Defeating Ouranos with the help of Kronos, the portrayal of Earth morphs from that of a creator to that of a motherly figure.
             Earth is the first god to exhibit an array of human emotions, anthropomorphising her character and making her more relatable to the general public in the 8th and 7th Century. Hesiod describes Earth as having "sorrow in her heart" (Hesiod, Theogony, 162), this is the first true emotion he depicts her having. However she is only feeling this sorrow, knowing that her "clever, evil plan" (Hesiod, Theogony, 161) will cause Ouranos pain, suggesting that she is also feeling sympathy for her "equal" (Hesiod, Theogony, 127) making her more inclined to be liked by the general public.

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