What Evils Came Out of Pandora’s Box?


According to Greeka.com, the evils Pandora unleashes from the gilt box are sickness, death, turmoil, strife, jealousy, hatred, famine and passion–curses from Zeus because Prometheus steals fire and gives it to humanity. Although these evils are to plague humankind in perpetuity, Pandora’s box also contains hope. This is the second and more important part of the story that most studies of mythology ignore.

As is common in the Greek myths, politics play a central role. At first, the Titan Prometheus is one of Zeus’s allies, siding with him and the other gods to take Mount Olympus from the other Titans. Later, angry that Prometheus steals fire from Olympus, Zeus orders Hephaestus to create Pandora, the first mortal woman whose name means “giver of all.” Fashioned from earth and water using Aphrodite as a model, Pandora also receives many other gifts from the gods, the most significant of which is curiosity from Hera. After Zeus bestows upon her the gilt box that she may never open, he offers Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ half-brother. Although Prometheus warns his brother never to accept gifts from Zeus, Epimetheus happily takes Pandora for his wife, believing that she is a peace offering. Unfortunately, Pandora’s curiosity gets the best of her. She opens the box, unleashing Zeus’ revenge on Prometheus and humanity.