[[caption-width-right:269:I told you, Perses.]]

-> ''"Take nothing to eat or to wash with from uncharmed pots, for in them there is mischief."''
-->-- v. 748

[[AncientGreece Once upon a time]] (in the 7th century BC) there were two brothers: one industrious and intelligent (to the point that he learned to compose narrative poems in epic hexameter when there was nothing to do in the field), but the other lazy and silly. The latter, surprisingly, managed to bribe the local judges and was given the vast majority of land at the cost of his brother's part - only to waste it hopelessly because of his laziness and incompetence. On this occasion his hard-working sibling wrote for him a long advice in the form of a poem, containing some [[AnAesop moral precepts]], two or three mythical parables, and quite a lot of hints concerning the art of husbandry. This poem is now known as ''Works and Days'', and whole generations of classical scholars cannot agree whether lazy Perses actually existed or was it only a literary device of Creator/{{Hesiod}} to show the disastrous effects of foolishness. For the purpose of the list of tropes below let us assume that the former option is true.
!! ''Works and Days'' includes:

* ArtifactOfDoom: [[PandorasBox Pandora's jar]].
* BigBrotherMentor: Literally.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Very near the beginning, when the author praises Zeus as a powerful and [[MightMakesRight just]] divine ruler.
* CheatersNeverProsper: And the best way not to be a cheater is to work hard and mind one's own business.
* CountryMouse: It's better to stay in one's native village and be content with what possibilities it offers than to become a warrior or a sailor and risk Dangerous Adventures.
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: Curiously, Pandora is not explicitly said to have opened the jar out of curiosity - but Hesiod strongly discourages Perses to check what is behind his native land.
* HeManWomanHater: One may wonder whether Hesiod had met someone fitting the legendary portrayal of Xanthippe, as more than once he advises Perses not to trust women, no matter what. He also tells him to marry as young a girl as possible in order to [[FairForItsDay bring her up according to his wishes]], and to expel the inefficient pregnant servants at the most busy time of the year.
* LandPoor: This was, presumably, the situation of both Hesiod and Perses.
* LoveMakesYouDumb: Hesiod warns Perses not to fall in love in his wife, whoever she'll be, as this may lead to trusting her, which is bound to be disastrous.
* MightMakesRight: Hesiod's story about hawk and nightingale serves as a disillusionment.
* NarrativePoem: A [[OlderThanFeudalism really old one]].
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: In earlier ages, everything was better - men were healthier and happier, gods were nicer to men, the food was better and the grass was greener. The ages enumerated in the text are:
** GoldenAge, when Cronos was king.
** [[PsychopathicManchild Silver Age]], when humans lived for a century as children, only to grow up to become impious sinners.
** [[BloodKnight Bronze Age]], when humans constantly warred with each other until they finally wiped each other out.
** TheTimeOfMyths, the only period to improve upon the previous age.
** [[AncientGreece Iron Age]]. This is where history begins.
* ReligionIsMagic: A considerable part of the text is a list of good and bad days for doing particular things.
* RobotGirl: Pandora.
* SealedEvilInACan: An UrExample - the story of Pandora and her jar.
* SelfMadeMan: This is the ideal which Perses should imitate, according to Hesiod.
* SiblingRivalry: So epic it would be CainAndAbel, if not for the fact that Perses is more stupid than really evil.
* SiblingYinYang: The two [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Strifes]]. One of them (the Yang one) appears in the [[Literature/{{Theogony}} sister-poem]] of ''Works and Days'', describing in detail how blue her blood was; this supports Hesiod's stance that, actually, the evil goddess Strife is accompanied by the much nicer Ambition. This is the same trick that Creator/{{Plato}} used in ''Literature/{{Symposium}}'' to explain the difference between love and sex. (Perses and Hesiod themselves can also be seen as fitting the pattern.)