The Pandora Box
Pandora means “The One with All Gifts” in Greek. She bears this name because as she was created by the Gods each one of them gave her a gift.
Created as a punishment to Prometheus (God of fire) after he had stolen fire from heaven to give it to the mortals, Pandora is the first woman on earth in Greek mythology. She was made of clay and perfectly shaped. Aphrodite gave her femininity, Athena taught her all the fine arts and Hermes showed her to be stubborn, deceitful and curious.
She was also given a jar called “Pithos”. The Gods told her that the jar was filled with their blessings and asked her to never open it, EVER…
The truth is, the jar contained all sorts of misery, evil, illness and hardship.
Zeus sent Pandora to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus, to be his wife. Despite Prometheus’ warnings to never accept anything from the Gods, Epimetheus who was mesmerised by the beauty of Pandora accepted to marry her right away. This is how Pandora came to earth. Everything was going according to Zeus’ plan… (she was created as a punishment, remember?)
As we said earlier, among other things, Hermes taught Pandora to be curious and it is her curiosity that would lead her to disobey the Gods. Pandora couldn’t tame the urge to see what’s inside the jar so one day as she couldn’t take it anymore she opened it … and so before her eyes, all the evil, illnesses, hatred, jealousy, pain and hardships that the Gods had hidden in the jar started coming out.
Pandora was so surprised and scared that she tried to close the jar as soon as possible but it was too late. All the evil spirits and everything that was in the jar had already come out but ONE THING. Hope.
Hope was the last thing in the jar, and because Pandora closed it too quickly, hope stayed inside… It was Zeus’ will. He wanted hope to stay trapped as he wanted people to suffer and understand that they should never disobey their Gods. Prometheus and humankind received their punishment as Zeus planned.
Ever since, the world has been filled with misery but at the end hope has also managed to come out and humankind have been able to hold onto it in order to survive all the things Pandora had let out.
The myth of the Pandora jar is fascinating. It appears in so many other stories, myths and beliefs and today it refers to all these things best left unraveled, for fear of what might come out of it.