Greek Myths: Pandora's Box

By Demi Edwards and Jaclyn Parvin


Narrative First Retold By N.S. Gill

Original Version

Greek Mythological Pantheon

Before women emerged, Zeus, the chief god, orders Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create him a human daughter using earth and water. She is named Pandora. Pandora is given many characteristics from various gods. Aphrodite, the god of love and beauty, makes her beautiful. Apollo, the god of arts, gives music and Hermes, the great messenger of the gods, contributes persuasion. Altogether the gods embraces her with the gift of curiosity.
Years after Pandora’s creation, her father, Zeus, learns that Prometheus, the god of forethought, stole fire from heaven and brought it down to earth. Prometheus’ action angers Zeus and elicits him to take action. Prometheus always dreams of marrying Pandora, so in revenge Zeus gives Pandora to Prometheus’ brother, Epimetheus. Epimetheus, a Greek titan, and Pandora are sent by Zeus to live on Earth. With them travels a secret box, forbidden to be opened.
As time progresses, the gift of curiosity emerges inside of Pandora and tempts her to open the forbidden box, however she recalls her father’s orders. Pandora is a young girl that cannot over power her temptations. She decides to open the box, assuming nothing but the best will come out of it. As she opens it, every evil aspect of life escapes, such as sickness, crime, envy, hatred, and worries. Before she closes the box, everything but hope escapes. She realizes after evil escapes why her father insisted her not to open the box. Permeated with sadness, she becomes very paranoid of her father finding out. Little did she know, her father planned on this occurring all along and did not punish her as she expected.For the remainder of Pandora’s life, she dwells on her mistake, and distances herself from Epimetheus, but the love he has for her is so immense that he cannot live without her. As the two grow old, Pandora abruptly dies with regret, and swiftly follows Epimetheus dying alone.pandoras-box.jpgPicture Website






Interpretation By Demi Edwards and Jaclyn Parvin

The myth of Pandora’s Box explores the curiosity that intrigues all men and women. When Pandora opens the box of terror, the result depicts her to be the woman that created evil in the world and the essence creates why she was so scared of being caught by her father. The value of this Greek myth shows that curiosity may take over the body, but when one is told not to take an action, he or she must not take it. Pandora’s practical thoughts were incorrect, and her thoughts revealed the worst thing possible, the unexpected.
Edith Hamilton’s interpretation is quite divergent from ours. She explains that while reading Pandora’s Box the reader learns how earthly hardship is born. Edith finds it interesting that a woman becomes the blame for the controversy in the story just like how Eve in the Judeo-Christian tradition is also. This Scholar has associated this story with the Adam and Eve story. In their story Eve is said to have ruined the utopia where humans once lived. Retribution is a reoccurring theme demonstrated many times in mythology, and is brandished in Pandora’s Box. The Greek gods tend to lash out, in myths, acridly when they feel they have been betrayed, and Pandora is no exception. She was sent to earth purposely so that her curiosity would drive her to open the box. This story also manifests Zeus’s intelligence. Mortals and gods understand the power of the god and fear his power, so by leaving the blunder in Pandora’s lap, he avoids being at fault for evil entering the world. (Hamilton Par. 10-12)

Another scholar named Rhonda Tyree’s interpretation of the story is analogous to ours. She construes that the story revolves around blaming a women for the faults in the world. Rhonda esteems that Pandora was created to fail. Zeus was clever by having her created to be curious, knowing that this trait would be the ultimate reason his plan works. He gives her a box full of evil hoping it will enter the world. After she opens up the box the blame is on her, and Zeus looks like the good guy. Zeus plays the role as the caring father when Prometheus shows traits of evil, he finds her someone with purer intentions, Epimethius. Zeus had known that if she married Prometheus his plan might have failed. (Tyree Par. 1,2,12)

Our interpretation of the story is opposing to others. The myth explains how evil came about and expresses many values and meanings. Pandora’s Box is a very interesting and morally attained story that interprets a variety of different meanings to different people. We believe that this myth’s purpose was to show that curiosity builds in all mankind, and that would never change. The result can be heart wrenching as well as beautiful.
Pandora’s Box highlights thoroughly that there is an immense amount of curiosity in all people, and that any person in contact with the box would have opened it, just as she did. It is an interpretation of the beginning of society, and explains every aspect of controversy in the world.
Pandora_opening_the_box.jpgPicture Website



Works Cited By Demi Edwards and Jaclyn Parvin

Edith Hamilton's Interpretation:

Hamilton, Edith. "Mythology Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of Prometheus; Pandora; Prometheus and Io | GradeSaver." Study Guides & Essay Editing | GradeSaver. GradeSaver LLC. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.<<http://www.gradesaver.com/mythology/study-guide/section3/>.

Rhonda Tyree's Interpretation:

Tyree, Rhonda. "Pandora." Sweet Briar College { History of Art Program }. Mar.-Apr. 1998. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/tyreepandora/pandora.html>

Photo Of Pandora Opening Her Box:

Pandora's Box." A Simple Crazy Life. Web. 28 Oct. 2011. http://thackerayfamily.blogspot.com/2011/02/pandoras-box.html.

Photo Of Pandora Releasing The Contents Of Her Box:

Goble, Warwick. "Pandora and Her Box." Poietes.wordpress.com. Web.