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Pandora's Box

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Pandora's Box

  2. 2. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman, created by Hephaestus on the instructions of Zeus. As Hesiod related it, each god co-operated by giving her unique gifts. Her other name—inscribed against her figure on a white-ground kylix in the British Museum—is Anesidora sends up gifts“ The Pandora myth is a kind of theodicy, addressing the question of why there is evil in the world. According to this, Pandora opened a jar , in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as "Pandora's box", releasing all the evils of humanity. Hesiod's interpretation of Pandora's story, sometimes considered as misogynous, went on to influence both Jewish and Christian theology and so perpetuated her bad reputation into the Renaissance. Later poets, dramatists, painters and sculptors made her their subject and over the course of five centuries contributed new insights into her motives and significance.
  3. 3. PITHOS INTO "BOX" • The mistranslation of pithos, a large storage jar, as "box" is usually attributed to the sixteenth century humanist when he translated Hesiod's tale of Pandora into Latin. Hesiod's pithos refers to a large storage jar, often half-buried in the ground, used for wine, oil or grain. It can also refer to a funerary jar. Erasmus, however, translated pithos into the Latin word pyxis, meaning "box". The phrase "Pandora's box" has endured ever since.
  4. 4. STORY • When Prometheus stole fire from the gods, Zeus created Pandora as a punishment for mankind. One would think Zeus had doled out enough punishment after sentencing Prometheus to spend an eternity chained to a rock while birds pecked at his liver, but it seemed the king of the gods had more in store. • Zeus commissioned the god Hephaestus to sculpt a beautiful woman out of clay, and she was given gifts from a few gods before she was sent down to fulfill her purpose. Pandora was sent to be the wife of Epimetheus (Prometheus's brother), and only brought one thing with her: a container full of all the world's evils. • Of course, Zeus didn't tell Pandora what was inside the box - instead, he told her to never open it, and then gave the key to her husband, because when you tell someone to not do something, you put temptation as close as possible. Can you blame her for sneaking a peek?
  5. 5. WHAT WAS ACTUALLY INSIDE PANDORA'S BOX? • The myth of Pandora is one for the ages. Woman, created to punish man, accidentally releases all of the world's horrors, unleashing evil on Earth. Maybe not a bedtime story for children. But what came out of Pandora's box? Who knew exactly what was inside and what would come flying out? And who is Pandora, the enigmatic first woman, the curious creation of the gods? • Pandora's story is one told long before modern language, lending itself to a long history of lore and misinterpretation. Her myth is a moral story, a warning to heed that maybe curiosity does kill the cat.
  6. 6. HOW DID THE MYTH ARISE? • It arose as a way of explaining why dreadful things happened, such as people getting sick and dying. As in many origin myths, man had lived in a world without worry – until this jar / box was opened, which contained ills for mankind. Zeus knew that Pandora’s curiosity would mean that she could not stop herself from opening it, especially when he had told her that she must not do so.
  7. 7. • Many other myths also explain the ills of the world by saying they are caused by human disobedience of a god’s instructions. • Even Hope itself has been argued about by scholars – not everyone agreeing that it is a great good – that maybe Zeus meant it as an evil also – otherwise it would not have been in a jar of evil. Others believe that Zeus may have relented a little, and put Hope in to help mankind through the hard times that the other ‘gifts’ would bring.
  8. 8. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO US TODAY? • Today, Pandora’s box means a source of troubles. When we talk about opening Pandora’s box, we use it as a metaphor to mean that we may not know what we are getting ourselves into! Sometimes, that we do not always know how something we have started may end, that we do not know the consequences of our actions.
  9. 9. • Motsakou Androniki • Totorov Gabrijela