Friday, 10 February 2012

Developing Thoughts 2 - Pandora's Box

Story/ Background

Before the story begins, let me say that some people take umbrage at the title "Pandora's Box" and insist it should be "Pandora's Jar". They may have reason -- based on what Hesiod wrote, but myths change with the re-telling and people are accustomed to "Pandora's Box," so I shall use the term, in this, my re-telling of the myth of Pandora and her box.

The background to the story of Pandora's Box is the Titan Prometheus's passive-aggression towards the king of the gods, Zeus. Having gotten away with or having paid the price for one misdeed, Prometheus kept going back for more. Zeus was very creative in the way he meted out punishments. Pandora was one example.

The Gift of Pandora

Prometheus was mankind's benefactor. The king of the gods wasn't crazy about us and didn't want us to have, among other things, fire. Prometheus, on the other hand, wanted good things for us, so stealthily, he brought us the gift of fire. In return, Zeus presented man with a "gift," Pandora, the first woman. While Prometheus may have crafted man, woman was a different sort of creature. She came from the forge of Hephaestus, beautiful as a goddess and beguiling, thanks to traits bestowed by Athena and Zeus. Zeus presented her as a bride to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus. Prometheus had the gift of thinking ahead, but Epimetheus was only capable of afterthought, so Prometheus, expecting retribution for his audacity, had warned his brother against accepting gifts from Zeus. [Note: this is not the origin of the expression Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.]

Zeus gave the gods-crafted Pandora as bride to Epimetheus, along with a box with a warning label telling the couple never to open it. Epimetheus was dazzled by his bride, Pandora. Perhaps he forgot the advice of his prescient brother. Perhaps he thought they were supposed to hold the box in safe-keeping for Zeus against his return -- that it wasn't a gift, at all.

Pandora Opens the Box

Epimetheus insisted that his wife obey the letter of the label. Unfortunately, one day Pandora's husband left her side for a few hours. Pandora was gifted with curiosity as much as the other attributes given her by the gods. For her the box was a gift, not something to be kept in trust. What business had Zeus to tell her not to open it? Perhaps she'd listened to her brother-in-law's tales of tricking the king of the gods. Perhaps she saw nothing to fear. Maybe if she just took a quick peak.... Looking around to make sure no one was watching, she opened the box Zeus had given them just a crack. As Pandora did so, ghostly forms gushed forth from the crack. Pandora had unleashed all the evils now known to man. No longer could man loll about all day, but he would have to work and would succumb to illnesses.

Ideas for this theme

  •  I felt this idea had some potential from what was discussed in the tutorial
  • Pandora as a young innocent child and the box is the thing that could turn her world dark

  •  Pandora could open the box and the darkness could change the world outside and it's people into creatures
  • OR Pandora could be sucked inside the box to discover a dark world within

  •  The darkness could change Pandora allowing her to have powers/ skills but her innocence could stop her from changing completely to reverse the terror back to light

  • Pandora could become the villain and the gods choose a warrior to stop her before she destroys the world with the darkness she has unleashed  

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