Kids, you must have heard Hindu mythological stories from your grandparents, but do you know about Greek mythology? Reading Greek mythology while you’re young will give you exposure to different cultures of the world. It will also inspire you to become adventurous and imaginative. They also teach you different life lessons.
Here is one of the most famous Greek stories about Pandora – the first Greek woman created by God. Let’s read to know what happened when she opened her infamous box.
Once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, the most powerful Greek god of thunder, Zeus, created an extremely beautiful woman named Pandora. She was the first woman on the Earth according to Greek mythology.
Zeus Creating Pandora
The myth goes that there lived two brothers – Prometheus and Epimetheus in ancient Greece, who had stolen fire and given it to humans, which had upset the Greek gods. So, to punish them, Zeus created Pandora. When Epimetheus looked at the beautiful Pandora, he decided to marry her.
Pandora was not all beauty. Zeus gave her the flaw of being very curious and with that a sealed box as their wedding gift. The gods told Pandora and her husband that they must never open the box no matter what. It was a wooden box securely fastened with golden cords.
Zeus Gifting the box to Pandora and Epimetheus
But Pandora could not stop imagining about the things in the box, like the beautiful dresses, exquisite jewellery, or money!
One day when Epimetheus was away, Pandora wondered, “What good is a magnificent box wrapped in a golden thread if you can never open it?” Soon, she couldn’t resist her curiosity anymore and finally opened the box even after being warned by the gods. As she opened the box, Pandora released all the terrible evils of the world that infected humanity, like hate, greed, disease, envy, and death.
When Pandora opened the box, all the evils flew out
This shocked her, and almost immediately Pandora slammed closed the box’s lid but it was too late. This left Pandora in tears. Hearing her cries, Epimetheus rushed to her and Pandora showed her the empty box by opening it again.
But before she could shut it, the only remaining beautiful dragonfly flew out of the box and gave Pandora a big smile in thanks for his freedom. It was named ‘Hope’.
‘Hope’ being released from the Pandora’s box
This is how Pandora, who is considered an instrument of the wrath of Zeus, unleashed destruction, pain, and suffering upon humanity.
In Greek Mythology, it is considered that it was because of Pandora's curiosity that she opened the box, which led to wars, violence, and jealousy in the world. People began stealing, lying, and killing each other. But they forgot to mention that Pandora also allowed ‘hope’ to follow all the suffering.
Though Zeus’ plan to punish humanity succeeded, it crossed its limits. He brought a great flood on the Earth, drowned all the evils in it, and restored order.
The Great Flood by Zeus
Since then, humans have been turning to hope whenever they are unable to survive the pain and suffering that Pandora had released.
The story of Pandora’s box warns you that curiosity is a good thing when applied to learning new things. But sometimes, leaving your curiosity unchecked, along with disobedience, can get you into dangerous situations.
1. What were the traits of Pandora?
The gods created Pandora with many qualities apart from beauty. They include wisdom, cleverness, charm, kindness, health, and generosity. Thus, she was named “Pandora,” which means ‘all gifted’.
2. What does “Pandora’s Box” mean today?
“Pandora’s Box” now is synonymous with something that is a source of many problems. It is often used to describe anything that might have a ‘fear of the unknown’ attached to it and that is considered best left untouched.