1. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Pandora's Box

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Zombie_Chinchilla, Sep 25, 2010.

    I know someone recently posted a thread about sites about mythology, but I'm looking for info on Pandora's Box specifically. Or does anyone know about this info themselves?

    After Pandora opens the box, what happens to her? Do the gods punish her in any way? What about her husband? And the people, how do they react?

    No matter what sites I look at about the popular myth, they all stop at Pandora opening the box. Apparently, nothing exciting happens after that.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pandora's box was actually a jar, or pithos, and was a trap. Zeus filled the jar with all manner of woes, such as illness, war, despair. The jar also contained hope, but the variations of the myth are unclear as to why this would be the case, since Zeus gave the jar as punishment for man for stealing fire from Prometheus.

    Some historians claim that "hope" is a poor translation, and that hope was also one of the greatest evils, deluding those under its spell to prolong their suffering.

    In most versions, hope was the last thing remaining when Pandora closed the jar she opened because of irresistable curiosity, and it was trapped in the rim. How this effects the myth is open to wide interpretation. Some consider it a source of greater tragedy that hope did not escape into the world, others see it in a positive light that hope is exposed but bound by the actions of man, tamed if you will.

    The only aftermath is that all the evils that were in the jar were released into the world, where they continue to torment us.

    Pandora means "all-gifted", a rather wry appellation, given the nature of the gift.

    It's also a rather misogynistic myth, implying that it was the unquenchable curiosity of woman that was the gods' instrument for loosing all suffering upon the world.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with the negative view of hope... here's my take on that bad good word:

    as for pandora, she's considered to be the ancient greeks' version of eve, created by the gods out of clay [not from adam's rib!]... in true male-centered fashion, she was of no consequence after the jar was opened, so what happened to her then is anybody's guess... probably was used as a punching bag by her hubby, while popping out babies on an annual basis, till she finally cut out with a welcome overdose of nepenthe...
     
  4. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    From my readings, it seems there are a couple variations, that Pandora slammed the jar shut, trapping Faith inside, then Epimetheus opened it, letting hope escape. Another version has Pandora opening it once again to let hope out, so not only was she responsible for bringing bad stuff, hope was there as well. She was the first human woman of greek mythology, Greek's Eve. But without her, what would mankind have become? Without the plagues, and evil things, what would we have to struggle against and become stronger, what to overcome?
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    From Hesoid: (The earliest known mention of Pandora)
    From her is the race of women and female kind:
    of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
    live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
    no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.


    As Mammamaia mentioned Pandora is Eve for the Greeks she went on to Mother the human race - it will depend whether she was Athenian, Corinthian or Spartan how she would have been treated and her life progressed.
     
  6. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    This is the version I learned in school: (mostly from D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths)

    After Prometheus stole the sacred fire from Olympus and gave it to the humans, he was punished by being tied to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver out; since he was immortal, the liver grew back every day, and Prometheus had to endure the pain continuously. To punish man for taking the stolen fire, Zeus sent a beautiful woman full of curiosity with a box (or a jar, or a chest--depends what you read) full of all the evils of the world (including greed, gossip, etc) as well as hope; the way I understood it, hope was inevitably part of the evils, because such is the nature of hope that even when everything is wrong it is always present. Anyway, Pandora opens the jar/box, and all the evils escape and bite people and infect them. Zeus became so disgusted with the people that he decided to flood the earth and tell the last two good people, a man and a woman, to build a boat (sound familiar?). Zeus floods the world, and the two people survive, but the rest of the human race is drowned. The evils themselves also survive because they are like insects, capable of flying above the water. After the water subsides, Zeus tells the two people to throw the "bones of their ancestors" over their shoulders. The bones of their ancestors are rocks (Gaeia being their mother), so they toss rocks over their shoulders. As they do so, a new race of humans, made of clay this time, arise. These humans are more resistant to the evils than the others, but are still effected by them. It isn't clearly explained what happened to Pandora, but I think she probably drowned with the rest of the human race.

    Hope that helps at all.
     

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