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Pandora's box
logo ARTICLE 61

Pandora’s box

About mythology and misogyny...
Saturday 20 September 2008.
 

Greek mythology tells us this story, among many others:

Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to men. Zeus and his divine assistants wanted to keep the monopoly, they agreed indeed many advantages, living in the indecent assault and does little attention from the small people ...

Or so the almighty Zeus to avenge ordered Vulcan to create a woman made of earth and water.

It was thus made in clay by Hephaestus. Athena then gave her life, he learned the skill of hand and clothing; Aphrodite gave her beauty, charm and more... (not wear out that if you use them) ... Apollo musical talent, and finally Hermes learned lies and the art of persuasion.

Thus it was the gods of many gifts: beauty, flattery, kindness, address, grace, intelligence and also the innate art of the trickery and seduction.

They gave it the name of Pandora, which in Greek means "with all donations." She was then sent to Prometheus.

Epimetheus, the brother of it, was seduced and eventually marry her. On the day of their marriage, one gave a jar to Pandora where were all the ills of humanity, including old age, disease, war, famine, poverty, folly, vice, deceit and passion, fear and hope. (What a gift!). He was forbidden to open it.

Of course it does not meet the requirement and that is all evils escaped to spread on Earth. Only hope remained in the bottom of the container so that hope was not of this world, men could not bear the misfortunes that fell on them.

Why a jar containing all the ills of mankind would also content hope? There are two theories:

-  It is in the Iliad that there is a first explanation, here are these sentences: "in the house of Zeus, there were two jars, one enclosing the property, other evils."

-  Explanation controversial because the mythology refers only one jar. The reason for the presence of hope with the evils is certainly due to poor translation of the Greek text. The greek word "Elpis" is defined as the expectation of something, it was translated by hope, surely wrong. A better translation would have been anticipating, even irrational fear.

An analogie of this myth can be done with the disappointments of Adam and Eve in Genesis.

In these two myths, it is still the woman, however informed (by God in the Bible, or, here, by Prométhée and Zeus), who makes an irremediable error (by crunching the forbidden fruit or by opening the Pandora’s box), thus plunging humanity in a made life of evils and pains.

According to Hésiode’ Théogonie, “without woman, the life of the man is livable, and with a woman, hardly more.” Hésiode thus describes Pandora like a “so beautiful evil”. Sacha Guitry is beaten!

The "Pandora’s box", thus symbolizes the cause of a disaster. Fun to see, for the skeptics who still doubt that a woman is at the root of all evil ... Is’n’it?

Pr Badkopf

-  Texts, classified by headings:
-  Novell, fictions
-  Interactive writing
-  Diffuse, confused memory

-  Back to home

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