THE ANCIENT MYTH OF PANDORA
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
Pandora - Greek Mythology
The story of Pandora is most famous for Pandora’s box,
and it is still said today that when someone probes out of curiosity and
something bad ensues from that curiosity, they have opened Pandora’s box.
Pandora is known to be the first woman of earth and her story is a sad one
It began when Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus,
made Zeus very angry by providing the mortal men of earth with fire, against the
orders of Zeus. The god was very angry with the brothers for going against his
direct wishes and yet, couldn’t punish them outright for they had played a
pivotal role in the war against the Titans. Instead, he devised a way to seek
revenge on the brothers that would teach them a lesson but appear to be a gift
Zeus commanded Hephaestus to create a woman by
taking water and earth and making the form of a woman. To ensure that she was
created perfectly, Zeus had Aphrodite model for Hephaestus. When the god was
finished creating the woman, the Four Winds breathed life into her and the new
woman lay sleeping and breathing on her own. Unbeknownst to anyone else, Zeus
had this creature made so she could bring misery and unhappiness to those on
earth. Once she was alive, Zeus called the other Olympians and asked them each
to bring a gift for the new woman.
Aphrodite brought her beauty, grace and desire
while Hermes bestowed upon her cunning and boldness. Demeter taught her how to
take care of a garden and Athena taught her how to spin, giving her manual
dexterity. Apollo taught her how to play the lye and also how to sing
beautifully. Poseidon gave her a gift of a beautiful pearl necklace and the god
of sea gave her the promise that she would never drown. Zeus gave her the gift
of being foolish, idle, and mischievous. The gods then gave her the name
Pandora, which means “All-Gifted.” They named her this because of all the
presents she had received from the gods and also because each of the gifts she
had received would enable her to destroy man.
She was created to go to earth and become the wife
of Epimetheus, who had a hand in angering Zeus. Before her journey to earth, the
gods held a banquet for her where she was presented by a box that had wonderful
images on it. Hermes gave her the box but told her that must never, ever open
it. Shortly after, Hera, the wife of Zeus, gave Pandora the gift of curiosity.
They bestowed upon her other gifts at the banquet including a silvery raiment
and an embroidered veil and they placed colourful garlands of flowers in her
hair. They also gave her a crown made of gold. All of these gifts were given to
her so that she would be the most beautiful woman on earth upon her arrival.
Hermes was Pandora’s escort to earth and taking her
by the hand, led her to Epimetheus. Although Prometheus had warned his brother
to never accept any gift from the god Zeus but upon seeing Pandora, Epimetheus
was too struck by her beauty to heed Prometheus’ warning. Hermes explained to
Epimetheus that Zeus felt bad about his reaction to the brother’s actions and
wanted to do something nice for them that would make up for his anger. This is
why he had sent Pandora to become Epimetheus’ wife.
Epimetheus was more than happy to take Pandora as his wife and she was happy
fulfilling her role. She used the gifts she had been given from the gods to work
in their garden, cook, spin, sing, play the lye, and dance happily for her
husband. But she never forgot about the box that Hermes had given her and she
was continually wondering what the mysterious box held.
Pandora placed the box on the table and polished it
often, every day in fact, so that those who visited her and her husband would be
impressed by how beautiful it was. She desperately wanted to open the box, due
to the gift of curiosity that Hera had given her. But she knew that she had made
a promise to Hermes and she knew that she must not break that promise. Deciding
that having to see the box every day was too much for her, she decided instead
to hide it in an old storeroom where it would rarely be seen. This made no
difference though as she would just walk by the storeroom, sometimes even going
inside and holding the box for a moment, thinking about how much she wanted to
She decided she needed to take much more drastic
measures. She placed the box inside a heavy wooden chest and locked the chest
before tying large chains around it. She then dragged the chest out to her
garden and buried it. To make sure that she would resist temptation, she rolled
a gigantic boulder on top of the spot where she buried the box.
The night that she buried the box, she couldn’t
sleep. She still desperately needed to know what was in that box. She walked out
to the garden and touched the boulder that was in place over the buried box. The
boulder moved on its own and Pandora took this as a sign that Hermes had changed
his mind and wanted her to open the box. She decided that she would dig up the
box and use the golden key around her neck to open the box. She was only going
to look for a minute before closing the box up again forever.
She opened the lid of the box and immediately knew
that something was wrong. An unpleasant odour immediately filled the air and she
heard things moving about inside. She closed the lid as tightly and quickly as
she could but it was too late. Along with bestowing the gifts upon her, the gods
had also placed evil inside of the box. These evils included old age, sickness,
insanity, vice, passion, greed, crime, death, lies, and many of the world’s
horrors. Once Pandora had opened the box, these evils escaped and were set free
into the world.
Pandora was miserable about what she had done. But
there was one thing at the bottom of the jar that was the last to fly out. It
was hope. This hope was to provide comfort for all of the despair that the evils
had caused. The hope sustained the men of earth during Pandora’s day and it
still remains today as a reprieve from the evils.
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