First, the misconception: It wasn’t a box. It was a jar. The ancient Greeks were fond of sealing things into jars. They were masters of pottery and pottery was a water-tight, air-tight vessel suitable for storing food, wine, water, scrolls, and more.
Now, Zeus ordered the creation of this particular jar, and he also ordered that all of the evils be placed in it: hunger, fear, despair, disease, Snooki, mattress tags, war, death, all of it into the jar. The idea was to unleash all of this on mankind as punishment. And, you know, all of that would be a horrible, horrible punishment, quite in line with what Zeus did to Prometheus.
But then he ordered, ordered hope into the jar. The one thing that can make all of that evil bearable, make humanity endure and carry on despite that evil, and Zeus puts it into the jar.
Pandora is given the jar, and, because of her natural curiosity, she opens it. Evil escapes; mankind will have many boo boos and will suffer reality television. She does, however, keep hope from escaping. It’s the one thing left in the jar, and that one thing will allow humanity to continue on.
But it’s still weird, right? Why is Zeus doing this? Why doesn’t he simply take the fire back? Why go through all the trouble of creating Pandora with so many gifts? Why go through the whole thing with the jar? If you’re going to put the evil in the jar, then why put hope in, too?
It doesn’t quite make sense, at least right now.
Up next, the aftermath, making sense of it all.