The Myth of Pandora’s Box

What was Pandora’s box?

A classic tale that teaches a moral lesson about curiosity, the myth of Pandora’s box is still a favored topic until today.

Who were the characters involved in the myth of Pandora’s Box?

myth of pandoras box

Zeus is the king of gods and a centerpiece in this myth. Clouded by anger due to Prometheus’s disobedience and wanting to teach humanity a lesson about curiosity, he ordered Hephaestus to create Pandora.

Prometheus is the titan god who is blessed with the power of prophecy and has the means to look into the future. After foreseeing the future and knowing that Zeus won the fight, Prometheus and his brother surrendered to Zeus.

Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus, was tasked with creating animals under the orders of Zeus. He is Pandora’s husband and through other versions of the myth, he is the one who opened Pandora’s box.

Aphrodite, the goddess of wisdom and beauty, gave Pandora the blessing of grace. Due to her attraction towards Ares, she cheated on Hephaestus and was divorced.

Apollo, the son of Zeus and Titaness Leto, gave the blessing of music to Pandora. Together with Artemis, they are one of the most famous twins in Greek Mythology.

Hermes is the messenger of gods that is shrewd and cunning. His gift is unique as it was the only one that bore a negative trait. He was responsible for giving Pandora a scheming and deceitful personality.

Athena, the goddess of justice and war, taught Pandora everything she needed to know about making clothes and ornaments.

Hephaestus, the son of Mera, was born without a father. Despite being blessed as the god of smithing, Mera was not pleased with his looks and disability and decided to throw him out of Mount Olympus.

Hephaestus was responsible for giving form to Pandora. Despite being hated by his mother, Zeus knew of his capabilities and ordered him to make a woman out of clay.

Pandora is the heroine of this tale. A mortal woman molded from clay by Hephaestus and favored by the gods and goddesses of Olympus. She was created with the sole purpose of revenge toward humanity.

Prometheus and the Blessing of Fire

After being tried by Zeus and deemed innocent for not participating in the war, the titan brothers were tasked with creating man and animals.

The titan gods took their time with their tasks. Epimetheus had already blessed the animals with the powers they were supposed to give to their creations. And Prometheus was bothered by the fact that he had nothing to give to humanity.

Out of desperation and disagreement with Zeus’s rules, Prometheus attempted and succeeded in stealing fire from Mount Olympus and bestowed it on his creations.

Zeus went into a raging fit after finding out that Prometheus stole the blessing of fire and decided to punish him.

Prometheus was bound to a huge boulder with chains on a mountain where nobody was likely to pass through. Zeus tortured him through an eagle familiar that fed from the titan god’s liver with each passing day.

Not long after this unfortunate event, Heracles found and saved him by slaying Zeus’s familiar.

Pandora’s Purpose: Revenge on Humanity

Zeus decided that humans should also get punished for receiving the blessing of fire and found an indirect way to exact his revenge.

He ordered Hephaestus, the god of smithing, to mold the perfect woman out of clay and spread word to the gods and goddesses of the realm about his plan.

The moment Hephaestus finished molding Pandora on clay, gods and goddesses from all over the realm visited and gave their blessings to the maiden-to-be.

Afterward, Pandora came to life. She became the first mortal woman to exist on Earth with the ironic intent of teaching them a lesson.

Pandora Meets Epimetheus

Zeus carries out his master plan by letting Pandora meet Epimetheus on Earth with the intent of marriage.

Before the fated meeting, Prometheus survived Zeus’s torture. And he warned his brother to avoid and decline all forms of gifts sent to him by Zeus.

Epimetheus made a mental note of his brother’s warning only to forget everything after seeing Pandora. The titan god fell in love and soon enough, their wedding was held.

The Pandora’s Box

what is pandoras box

In Hesiod’s tale, the myth of Pandora’s box in the early versions depicted Zeus handing over a jar called “pithoi”. These were containers used to store wine, water, or food for Pandora as a wedding gift.

In other versions of the myth, the jar becomes a small box that Pandora holds and still contains the world’s demise within it.

Instead of the usual contents, Zeus filled Pandora’s Box with all forms of evil and malicious intent that ensured chaos when set free. He warned Pandora about opening the box, making the woman more curious about its content.

Hope and Demise: The End of Pandora’s Box

“Don’t open the box.”

– Zeus to Pandora, who opened the box anyway.

Soon, the inevitable happened. Zeus was able to get his long-awaited revenge. Pandora’s curiosity peaked, and she decided to open the gift that led to freeing all sorts of negative energy throughout Earth. By the time she closed the box, only the element of hope was left inside.

Epimetheus and Pandora had a daughter named Pyrrha, who was born after the events of Pandora’s box. She signified the sliver of hope that humans have when she stood against the wrath of Zeus, who wanted to wipe humanity from existence in another myth.

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