Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

The Story Behind Pandora’s Box


The famous myth of Pandora’s Box resembles to the story of Adam and Eve. In Ancient Greek mythology Pandora was the first woman ever created on earth. Legend has it that Zeus ordered the god of craftsmanship Hephaestus to construct Pandora by using water and earth. She was given great abilities from many different gods. She was beautiful, but when Prometheus a titian who stole fire from the gods for humankind, Zeus looked for vengeance by handing Pandora to Prometheus’s brother another titian named Epimetheus. The box would symbolize destruction and hold similarities of Hell and the Underworld.

Prometheus was a Titan who really adored human beings. Prometheus would help them throughout life in anyway he could, but when he saw humans shivering at night and the raw meat of animals, he knew they would need fire. The other Gods would not allow the humans to achieve fire, because they felt that that man would misuse it and destroy nature with its power. Prometheus believed that the good in man would outweigh the bad, so he stole the fire from the Gods and gave it to the humans. With this being done Zeus decided he would punish Prometheus with his power. Zeus called for Aphrodite to pose in an attractive position so Hephaestus could create a clay figure of her. Zeus then brought the statue to life, and the Gods granted the woman with many gifts that included that attributes of beauty, charm, cunning, wit, eloquence, deceit, skill, and curiosity. Zeus gave the living clay woman the box of Pandora and told her she was never to open it. Zeus’s plan was to trick Prometheus so he offered Pandora as a wife. Prometheus wanted her, but he refused because he knew Zeus was pulling a trick on him. This got Zeus angry and he punished Prometheus to be chained to a rock. While Prometheus was chained a vulture came everyday to feed on Prometheus’s flesh. Meanwhile Prometheus’s brother, Epimetheus would accept Pandora as a wife, and the two of them would settle for a happy life, but Pandora always wondered what was in the box that Zeus gave to her. She just couldn’t hold her curiosity, so she opened the box, and from it flew hate, anger, sickness, poverty, and everything bad in the world. After she slammed the lid down and managed to trap the final evil within the box “hopelessness”, which is why today even when life gets harsh and tough humans still have hope. Legend still believes opening Pandora’s Box will create immortal evil that cannot be undone. The box is symbolized similar to Hell, because it is the cell that keeps chaos in the underworld to keep the real world “Earth” protected from the most ultimate dangers.


2 responses

  1. Molly Allender

    This is a very interesting take on evil. You make the claim that Pandora’s box is a representation of Hell because it holds hate, anger, sickness, and things that plague the world. This suggests a Hell similar to the Hell in “Dr. Fautus”. In Marlowe’s play Mephistopheles says Hell is wherever he goes, perhaps Pandora’s box acts the same way. Hell is wherever hate, anger, and the other contents of the box are causing trouble.

    April 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

  2. zet66

    This is a really intersting. You did a great job of describing the story. The similarities between this Greek myth and some Christian images are surprising. The fast that hopelessness is what was left in the box is especially surprising in context of its importance in religions today.

    May 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

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