A to Z April Blogging Challenge
P is for Pandora
It all started when Prometheus, who had been given the task of creating man, stole fire from Heaven because he was displeased with his creations. Zeus was angry and ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create the first woman on earth, Pandora. Hephaestus made Pandora using water and earth. The gods came to endow Pandora with gifts of their talents. Some gave her beauty, some gave her music, some gave her persuasion, etc… She was called, Pandora the ‘all-gifted’.
Zeus gave Pandora a wedding gift; a beautiful box and told her it was never to be opened. In his anger, Zeus sent Pandora and her box to Prometheus’ brother to be his wife. Curiosity soon took over and Pandora decided she would just peek into the box. When she pried the lid open it flew all the way back and the contents of the box began spilling out into the world all manner of evils. Pandora struggled to get the top back on the box, but by the time she had gained control of the lid, there was only one thing left, Elpis (Hope). Hope, a single blessing to aid the suffering of mankind.
The Greek myth of Pandora is ancient. The myth serves to address the question, “Why is there evil in the world?”. Homer’s ‘Iliad’ makes reference to boxes, jars, or urns that contain blessings and evils:
“The immortals know no care, yet the lot they spin for man is full of sorrow; on the floor of Zeus’ palace there stand two urns, the one filled with evil gifts, and the other with good ones. He for whom Zeus the lord of thunder mixes the gifts he sends, will meet now with good and now with evil fortune; but he to whom Zeus sends none but evil gifts will be pointed at by the finger of scorn, the hand of famine will pursue him to the ends of the world, and he will go up and down the face of the earth, respected neither by gods nor men.”
Hesiod names Pandora in line 570 of his ‘Theogony’ written during seventh century BC. In ‘Works and Days’, Hesiod gives a literary account of Pandora’s myth.
Pandora the ‘all-gifted’, later became a mythic inversion, ‘all-giving’.
Eve in ‘Genesis’ and Pandora in ‘Works and Days’ have some similarities; each is the first woman, each is a character causing a transition from a life of ease into a life of suffering and death, because of a transgression of divine law. Eve was created to help Adam, while Pandora was created to bring punishment to Prometheus, which is a difference. The two became closer to resembling each other throughout the years.
Image of Pandora opening her Box, courtesy of http://www.cgarena.com via Yahoo Images
More on the myth of Pandora can be found in the following references.
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/pandora.html – by Micha F. Lindemans
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