August 20, 2019
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The myth of Pandora’s box – Iseult Gillespie


Curiosity: a blessing, or a curse? The paradoxical nature of this trait was personified for the ancient Greeks in the mythical figure of Pandora. According to legend, she was the first mortal woman, whose blazing curiosity set a chain
of earth-shattering events in motion. Pandora was breathed into being
by Hephaestus, God of fire, who enlisted the help of his divine
companions to make her extraordinary. From Aphrodite she received the capacity
for deep emotion; from Hermes she gained
mastery over language. Athena gave the gift of fine craftsmanship
and attention to detail, and Hermes gave her her name. Finally, Zeus bestowed
two gifts on Pandora. The first was the trait of curiosity, which settled in her spirit and sent
her eagerly out into the world. The second was a heavy box, ornately
curved, heavy to hold – and screwed tightly shut. But the contents, Zeus told her,
were not for mortal eyes. She was not to open the box
under any circumstance. On earth, Pandora met and fell in love
with Epimetheus, a talented titan who had been given the task
of designing the natural world by Zeus. He had worked alongside
his brother Prometheus, who created the first humans but was eternally punished
for giving them fire. Epimetheus missed his brother desperately, but in Pandora he found another
fiery-hearted soul for companionship. Pandora brimmed with excitement
at life on earth. She was also easily distracted
and could be impatient, given her thirst for knowledge and desire
to question her surroundings. Often, her mind wandered to the contents
of the sealed box. What treasure was so great it could never
be seen by human eyes, and why was it in her care? Her fingers itched to pry it open. Sometimes she was convinced
she heard voices whispering and the contents rattling around inside, as if straining to be free. Its enigma became maddening. Over time, Pandora became more and more
obsessed with the box. It seemed there was a force beyond her
control that drew her to the contents, which echoed her name louder and louder. One day she could bear it no longer. Stealing away from Epimetheus, she stared at the mystifying box. She’d take one glance inside, then be able to rid
her mind of it forever… But at the first crack of the lid,
the box burst open. Monstrous creatures and horrendous sounds rushed out in a cloud of smoke and swirled
around her, screeching and cackling. Filled with terror, Pandora clawed desperately at the air
to direct them back into their prison. But the creatures surged out
in a gruesome cloud. She felt a wave of foreboding
as they billowed away. Zeus had used the box as a vessel for all the forces of evil
and suffering he’d created – and once released, they were uncontainable. As she wept, Pandora became aware of a sound echoing
from within the box. This was not the eerie
whispering of demons, but a light tinkling that seemed
to ease her anguish. When she once again lifted
the lid and peered in, a warm beam of light rose out
and fluttered away. As she watched it flickering in the wake
of the evil she’d unleashed, Pandora’s pain was eased. She knew that opening the box
was irreversible – but alongside the strife, she’d set hope
forth to temper its effects. Today, Pandora’s Box suggests
the extreme consequences of tampering with the unknown – but Pandora’s burning curiosity also
suggests the duality that lies at the heart of human inquiry. Are we bound to investigate everything
we don’t know, to mine the earth for more – or are there some mysteries that are better left unsolved?

Otis Rodgers

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Yashaswi Narayana Posted on January 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Ted Ed has always amused and educated us in unique and fun way.Thank You team Ted Ed always appreciated your efforts.

    Reply
  2. Garret Roland Posted on June 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    "peace II"

    Reply
  3. shay b Posted on June 15, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Why give her the box if she can’t open it ….

    Reply
  4. Farhan Redza Redza Posted on June 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    It contains Marsellus Wallace's soul

    Reply
  5. _noxserenus_ Posted on June 16, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    wasnt pandora a second punishment for humanity?? like, she wasnt a curious hooman and specifically opened up the box on purpose????

    idk man, thats what i heard

    Reply
  6. 1919helio1919 Posted on June 16, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Zeus: blesses Pandora with curiosity
    Also Zeus: gives her a tempting box
    Also Zeus: Put demons and stuff into the box
    seriously man wtf

    Reply
  7. Taylor Hood Posted on June 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    This video is missing out the patriarchal elements. Read Hamilton.

    Reply
  8. Gabriela Garcia Posted on June 16, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Why are gods such come mierdas?

    Reply
  9. Xahlia Omoso Posted on June 17, 2019 at 10:46 am

    "Or maybe there are some mysteries that are better left unsolved."
    Me: So does that mean I'll never get to find out what happens if I eat myself?

    Reply
  10. Patrick_629 Posted on June 18, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Im ready for the quiz

    Reply
  11. Kenneth Satria Posted on June 18, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I like the detail that she reminded Epimethius of his brother

    Prometheus probably would have approved

    Reply
  12. Robbie Abbott Ramsay Posted on June 19, 2019 at 8:52 am

    It wasn't a box, it was a jar or something

    Reply
  13. Goddess Phoebe Valdehuesa Posted on June 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I've read that Zeus used Pandora to punish human kind.He was still angry about Prometheus and how he gave his creation the knowledge of fire and decided to take his anger out of the humans.

    But he couldn't do this directly cause as a ruler he had to think of what the other Gods will think.The other Gods had no anger and problem with humans as they loved that they were worshipped everyday by them.

    So Zeus had this brilliant idea that they were to make the perfect human so Hephaestus breath her out blah blah blah you know the story.Prometheus warned ephimetheus to be careful for Pandora as she could be zeus' tool for revenge.

    Another I've read was that Zeus purposely placed hope inside the box so that people with continue to suffer but not lose hope.With hope humans are eternally punished.We suffer and get hurt because we don't lose hope and just end it all

    Reply
  14. Betsy B Posted on June 19, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    The video didn’t mention that Pandora was MEANT to open the box all along. That’s why she was made to be so curious. It was a punishment for mankind

    Reply
  15. Keito Chan Posted on June 21, 2019 at 6:07 am

    It just like adam and eve. God said don't eat the forbidden fruit and they did. Now, Pandora did the same too.

    Reply
  16. Lam Anh Tran Posted on June 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Plsssss make more video about Greek Mythology, plsssss.

    Reply
  17. sharada mc Posted on June 23, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Has anyone fallen in love with the voice of this person or it's only me …….❤😍

    Reply
  18. Vaibhav Bhatnagar Posted on June 23, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    0:41 and Hermes…gave her "Hernia".

    Reply
  19. Ben Chermside Posted on June 25, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    3:40 yes on both accounts

    Reply
  20. Kaven Kaven Posted on June 25, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Zues straight ALWAYS setting ppl up

    Reply
  21. Nasir Simmons Posted on June 26, 2019 at 2:24 am

    Zeus really set my girl up on god

    Reply
  22. Brent Sander Posted on June 26, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    It wasn't a box but rather a jar.

    Reply
  23. Madeleine Musgrave Posted on June 27, 2019 at 2:20 am

    Omg I know a Japanese song about that

    Reply
  24. Otilia Munteanu Posted on June 27, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    "On Earth, Pandora met and fell in love with Epimetheus"

    More like the gods actually made her and gifted her to him, as a revenge for Prometheus's thievery

    Reply
  25. fuk detroit Posted on June 28, 2019 at 9:08 am

    zeus : gave her the gift of curiosity as well as a box not to be opened by any mortal
    pandora : opens the box

    zeus : pokemon shocked meme face

    Reply
  26. Atal Shrestha Posted on June 28, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    What's in the booxxxxx!!??

    Reply
  27. Diljith OR Posted on June 30, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    wrong move Zeus

    Reply
  28. Wither Storm Posted on June 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    But I thought hercules saved pomethus

    Reply
  29. Start Quest Posted on June 30, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Uh… yeah to 3:40. We're meant to become immortal, gods of light. Haven't played Destiny? Jeez…

    Reply
  30. ARKHAM KNIGHT Posted on July 2, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Humans must take reference to this video before we do anything unnecessary that will effect the world

    Reply
  31. Wolf Deer Posted on July 2, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Zeus was kinda asking for it when he gave her the gift of curiosity

    Reply
  32. BFDI Jellycopter Posted on July 3, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Zeus: gives curiosity and a box never to be opened

    Pandora: opens box and opens again

    Light: UNO REVERSE CARDD

    Reply
  33. NOTZOMBIE Posted on July 4, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    No one :
    Zeus: take this box and never open it

    Reply
  34. Faty Ambitious Posted on July 6, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I have read the whole methodology book in 2013, it was fantastic. I advise everybody to read it. 🌸💦💐

    Reply
  35. Michelle Sithole Posted on July 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Pandora and Eve.
    These darn meddling women!

    Reply
  36. Debosmita Pal Posted on July 7, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Learning about pandora made me think.. My name could be pandora.. Extreme emotion, curiosity N all that. I have it all..

    Reply
  37. ParkChimChimstolemyheart Posted on July 7, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Zeus was 'afraid' of mortals, he didn't like Prometheus' creations and hence he wanted to deter their growth. He created the perfect creature in form of Pandora, and all the Gods filled the box with vile diseases and emotions which was ultimately opened by Pandora because yeah, that's what she was meant to do, a tool of sorts. That's the version I remember being told as a kid and I have always read that version in books

    Reply
  38. Ahil Kannan Posted on July 7, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks for the information

    Reply
  39. Waheed Rather Posted on July 7, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Curiosity is God's great gift for us.
    Advancements we have made act as proof of that fact .but we should make sure it doesn't turn into greed, in that case, Pandora ' s box myth fits well

    Reply
  40. Yeslea Ash Posted on July 8, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Ted-Ed is the best. He tells all of us facts and to be aware.my dad always told me remember four words. To be aware of. And be aware of everything. Thank you ted.

    Reply
  41. Zachary Cepulis Posted on July 8, 2019 at 6:06 am

    why did zeus give her the box as a gift?

    Reply
  42. Jericca Young Posted on July 9, 2019 at 3:42 am

    lol why she sound just like me

    Reply
  43. Jordan Baylon Posted on July 9, 2019 at 10:03 am

    just like athena told kratos what's inside pandora's box

    Reply
  44. Ruby Grey Posted on July 10, 2019 at 7:00 am

    why on earth did zeus give the box of the worst things ever created to a girl who was literally given the trait of curiosity on birth?? Jeez a lot of these horrible tragedies in myths would be avoided if the gods had some common sense!! Also ted-ed, best videos ever you're my favourite channel!

    Reply
  45. KoolAid Posted on July 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    This is why I have ghosts in my house….

    Reply
  46. Aiden Sund Posted on July 11, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    If Pandora wasn’t to open the box then why did Zeus give her it as a gift

    Reply
  47. Shila Reeves Posted on July 12, 2019 at 4:14 am

    So basically Pandora is ADD, and I can say that cause am ADD

    Reply
  48. Trailers with no Movies Posted on July 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    0:54 yes very well spoken ted ed

    Reply
  49. Noobster Official Posted on July 13, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    And herpes gave her her name

    Reply
  50. Belle_. Hermione Posted on July 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Peace out peoples it's just Zeus's another pranks gone too far video.

    Reply
  51. Peter Pana Posted on July 14, 2019 at 9:52 am

    It was a jar

    Reply
  52. Venus Moth Posted on July 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks Pandora, we could have been immortal!

    Reply
  53. Fatin Amirah Posted on July 15, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Zeus is teaching her something (curiosity kills a cat) oh well the gifts could’ve been better.. but what do i know

    Reply
  54. Ao Fujisaki Posted on July 15, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Like the Godzilla 2019 movie lol

    Reply
  55. Yusuf Maulana Efendi Posted on July 17, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Weew too many hard word or vocabulary

    Reply
  56. Angel Snowflakes Posted on July 17, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I wish the life was a Greek mythology.

    Reply
  57. AlphaNathan Online Posted on July 17, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Pandora: the first unboxing youtuber

    Reply
  58. ELLA MARI Posted on July 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    It was actually a jar, but Pandora’s box sounds so much better

    Reply
  59. Taquito_con_ Queso Posted on July 18, 2019 at 3:25 am

    This story has a lot of similitudes with Adan and Eve relate

    Reply
  60. aminoacidcereal Posted on July 18, 2019 at 6:03 am

    And thus, the mystery of Pandora's box, will remain, unsolved

    Reply
  61. MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT Posted on July 18, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    #MUSIC. THAT IS WHY YOU SHALL NOT LISTEN TO IT.

    Reply
  62. Helen Chen Posted on July 20, 2019 at 8:14 am

    How smart can u be? U give her curiosity and then a box and tell her not to open it

    Reply
  63. Emily Harfst Posted on July 20, 2019 at 8:19 am

    if they just told her what was in the box she wouldn’t have opened it,, then again I guess it wouldn’t have proved that she couldn’t ignore her curiosity

    Reply
  64. June Bhattacharjee Posted on July 21, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Great book of the Greek mythology Pandora opens the box to bring in all trouble

    Reply
  65. Ducks in mah books Posted on July 22, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Prometheus is everyone's dad.

    Reply
  66. Chicken Wings Posted on July 23, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Zeus set her up.

    Reply
  67. Donald Boughton Posted on July 26, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    My understanding is that it was not a box it was Pandora's Jar. The reference to a box is miss translation that has persisted.

    Reply
  68. Lolix logic Posted on July 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Zesus knew this was going to happen

    Reply
  69. Gm M Posted on July 26, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    THERE ARE SOME
    MYSTERIES BETTER LEFT ALONE

    That’s what my mother told me😁

    Reply
  70. 69 subscriber no vid Challenge Posted on July 27, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Iam a very curious person my self one time a girl who had a crush on me
    I asked her what do u like about me?

    Reply
  71. Jolo Productions Posted on July 27, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Nobody:
    Zeus:*Gives Pandora Curiosity and and box that is full of horrors to not open
    Also Zeus: wHY dId YOu oPEn tHe BoX?!

    Reply
  72. Pandora *4915* Posted on July 27, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Why wasn't she punished for it?

    Reply
  73. nas taran Posted on July 28, 2019 at 5:51 am

    What interesting is that in all of these old stories like Bible or Greek or …. It's women who bring men destruction

    Reply
  74. Michael M. Posted on July 28, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Enunciation.

    Reply
  75. Gia Jerenashvili Posted on August 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    All you had to do is open the god damn box kratos!

    Reply
  76. Sky Laquihon Posted on August 3, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    It was a bracelet inside that pandora box boi…

    Reply
  77. Alex Perales Posted on August 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    This is Constitutional right freedom of religion right? This why you need the declaration of Independence, other wise you will have problem 🤔🤪😜🤣😂🤣😂😂

    Reply
  78. Cheese Senpai Posted on August 5, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Zeus…

    WHY

    Reply
  79. Emilia Melardi Posted on August 7, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    To be fair, Zeus did it on purpose as a punishment for mankind getting fire, it’s very connected to the whole Prometheus story

    Reply
  80. Nathyn Fyte Posted on August 8, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Pandora was sent as a punishment to Man..you left that part out..

    Reply
  81. Eda Crissabelle Bagcatin Posted on August 9, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Nice

    Reply
  82. Eda Crissabelle Bagcatin Posted on August 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Pandora bad😑😑😑

    Reply
  83. Google não deixou eu colocar um nome maior que esse Posted on August 10, 2019 at 1:44 am

    isn't hefestus the god of specifically liquid fire ? (lava)

    Reply
  84. BAD VIBES Posted on August 10, 2019 at 3:00 am

    no man or god shall be perfect as perfection lays within the things you experience

    Reply
  85. psiew13 Posted on August 10, 2019 at 6:09 am

    It’s not a box it’s a pithus

    Reply
  86. aaryak srivastava Posted on August 10, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Well zeus was a d*ckshit

    Reply
  87. Vanessa Bates Posted on August 10, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Ornately carved NOT curved. Mispronunciations at the start!

    Reply
  88. MNgo Posted on August 11, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Everyone Zeus gave her curiosity and told her not to open it to test her

    Reply
  89. Ferstnem Lestnem Posted on August 11, 2019 at 11:55 am

    I mean why would you give her a box full of souls

    Reply
  90. Mikhael Rachmaninov Posted on August 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    The original Pandora's box is used to contain cockroach, flying cockroach. That's why it cannot be opened, ever. 😶

    Reply
  91. Laila Fantauzzi Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:09 am

    When people blame Pandora but it was Zeus' fault for giving it to her

    Reply
  92. surath saha Posted on August 12, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Why to give the box in the fiirst place?

    Reply
  93. Kizzie K Posted on August 14, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Ted-Ed is my favourite channel ‼️👌🏼❤️

    Reply
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