Pandora's Box is a simple myth that explains how woman came to be, and how bad things came to earth as well. It also explores the dangers of curiosity and distrust.
The Creation of Pandora
The Opening of the Box
Most of this myth takes place in Pandora's home, but some of it takes place on Mt. Olympus as the gods create her.
Prometheus was a Titan who really liked humans. He helped them in any way he could. When he saw them shivering at night and eating raw meat, he knew they needed fire. But the gods did not allow man to have fire. They knew that man would misuse it and destroy with it. Prometheus was sure that the good man did with fire would outweigh the bad, so he stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. Zeus decided to punish Prometheus with trickery. He called Aphrodite to pose while Hephaestus made a clay figure of a woman. Then he brought the statue to life. The gods granted the woman with many gifts including beauty, charm, cunning, wit, eloquence, deceit, skill, and curiosity. Then Zeus gave her a box and told her she was never to open it. Zeus then offered Pandora as a wife to Prometheus.
The Titan wanted her, but he refused because he knew it must be a trick of the gods. Zeus became angry and punished Prometheus. The Titan was chained to a rock. There, a vulture came daily to feed on his flesh. Prometheus's brother, Epimetheus, accepted Pandora as his wife, and the couple settled down for a happy life. But Pandora always wondered what was in the box Zeus gave her. Finally she couldn't hold her curiosity down anymore. She opened the box, and from it flew hate, anger, sickness, poverty, and every bad thing in the world. She slammed the lid down and managed to trap the final evil still in the box: hopelessness. So today, even when the going gets tough, every human still has hope.
There are many variations on this popular story. Some versions say that Prometheus captured all the bad things and put them in a box. He then gave the box to his brother for safekeeping. Pandora found it and opened it, thus releasing all the bad things. Other versions say it was Epimetheus who opened the box, not Pandora. Some variations say all the good things of the world were inside the box, just as they were inside humans. When Pandora released the good, it left humans as well. The only thing that stays forever is hope, because Pandora managed to capture hope before it flew from the box as well.