Thursday, July 30, 2020

Story of Pandora's box

In ancient Greece there were two brothers named Epimetheus and Prometheus. They upset the gods and annoyed the most powerful of all Gods, Zeus, in particular.

Prometheus had thought about mankind with such sympathy that he had dared to steal the needed fire from Olympus, and for this he was grievously punished by Zeus.

The humans rejoiced in their gift of fire. At least they were able to cook, keep warm and have light in the evening time. Some of the humans discovered how to make tools by shaping metals with hot fire and all was good on Earth. Prometheus also taught humans civilizing arts such as writing, medicine, mathematics and science.

Zeus was furious at Prometheus and, as punishment, chained him to the side of a cliff for many years. Zeus extended his displeasure to Epimetheus. He did not punish Epimetheus as brutally as he had done his brother; he had a more subtle plan.

With the help of Hephaestus, he created a woman from clay. Hephaestus took some river clay that had flakes of gold in it and began to make a lovely girl. In with the clay he mixed the fragrance of a river rose, the sweetness of Hymettus honey, the smoothness of a silver dolphin, the voices of larks and lake-water, the color of sunrise on snow, the warmth of a sunny morning in May. The goddess Athena breathed life into the clay and the woman came to life. Aphrodite made her beautiful and Hermes taught her how to be both charming and deceitful. Zeus called her Pandora and sent her to Epimetheus, as he knew that he was lonely.

Epimetheus went to visit his brother and Prometheus warned him not to accept any gifts from the gods. He remembered how often his brother Prometheus had warned him, “Do not trust the gods. And beware especially of Zeus and anything he may send you.” However, when Pandora looked in his eyes and smiled, he was, as Aphrodite had predicted, enchanted and ensnared. Epimetheus was completely charmed by the woman and thought Pandora was so beautiful that she could never cause any harm, so he agreed to marry her.

Zeus, pleased that his trap was working, gave Pandora a wedding gift of a beautiful box. There was one very, very important condition however, that she must never opened the box. Pandora was very curious about the contents of the box but she had promised that she would never open it.

When she knew that Epimetheus was out of sight, Pandora placed the box on the floor and took the small gold key. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she unlocked the box. She opened her eyes and pulled the box open, expecting to see fine silk dresses and jewelry. But there was not one gold bracelet or fine silk dress in sight. It was only a moment and the lid was up only an inch, but in that moment a swarm of horrible things flew out. They were noisome, abominably colored, and evil-looking, for they were the spirits of all that was evil, sad, and hurtful. They were War and Famine, Crime and Pestilence, Spite and Cruelty, Sickness and Malice, Envy, Woe, Wickedness, and all the other disasters let loose in the world.

Pandora slammed the lid shut, but it was too late; the evils had already escaped into the world. Epimetheus heard her weeping and ran into the room to console her.

The creatures stung Pandora over and over again and she slammed the lid shut. Epimetheus ran into the room to see why she was crying in pain. Pandora could still hear a voice calling to her from the box, pleading with her to be let out. Epimetheus agreed that nothing inside the box could be worse than the horrors that had already been released, so they opened the lid once more.

All that remained in the box was Hope. It fluttered from the box like a beautiful dragonfly, touching the wounds created by the evil creatures, and healing them.

Even though Pandora had released suffering and sadness upon the world, she had also released hope, and this made all the difference in the world.
Story of Pandora's box

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