Myth Interpreted Picture

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From the Age of Fables

To punish mankind, Zeus ordered the other gods to make Pandora as a poisoned gift for man. Pandora was given several traits from the different gods: Hephaestus molded her out of clay and gave her form; Aphrodite gave her beauty; Apollo gave her musical talent and a gift for healing; Demeter taught her to tend a garden; Athena taught her manual dexterity and how to spin; Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace and the ability to never drown; Zeus made her idle, mischievous, and foolish; Hera gave her curiosity; Hermes, along with giving her cunning and boldness, then gave Pandora a box.

Before he was chained to the rock, Prometheus had warned Epimetheus not to take any gifts from the gods. Epimetheus did not listen to his brother, however, and when Pandora arrived, he fell in love with her. Hermes told him that Pandora was a gift to the titan from Zeus, and he warned Epimetheus to not open the box, which was Pandora's dowry.

Until then, mankind had lived a life in a paradise without worry. Epimetheus told Pandora never to open the box she had received from Zeus. However, one day, Pandora's curiosity got the better of her and she opened it, releasing all the misfortunes of mankind (plague, sorrow, poverty, crime, etc.). Once opened, she shut it in time to keep one thing in the box: hope. The world remained extremely bleak for an unspecified interval, until Pandora "chanced" to revisit the box again, at which point Hope fluttered out. Thus, mankind always has hope in times of evil, but Hope has a great deal of catching up to do.

*Pandora myth courtesy of Bullfinch's Mythology and Wikipedia.
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