Prometheus and Pandora

When the world was young, man was a helpless creature, foraging around in his ignorance in a dark, untamed world. Zeus thought little of mankind, believing that it would simply pass from the earth before long. Yet, taking pity upon man was Prometheus, who, against the warning of Zeus, bestowed the gift of fire to man. This new power enabled people to thrive in their environment. The advantages gained over nature in time lead man not only to a dominant position on earth, but also to the development of the arts. Unimpressed by this, and furious at Prometheus’ rebellion, Zeus had him chained to a boulder where he would endure the daily torture of having his liver eaten by an eagle. The price paid by man, however, was more complex. Zeus created a creature possessing talents and gifts from all the gods, the first woman. But, before placing her on Earth, Zeus gave her a simple and impulsive mind as well as a jar; with it, the implicit yet impossible instructions to never open its lid. Of course, shortly after her arrival on earth, Pandora opens the jar releasing all of the evils now known to man. Realizing her folly, Pandora snaps the jar closed, saving the last of its contents: hope. Was retaining this the greatest burden that man has had to bear? Hope has proven to be one of the singular forces behind man continued existence, but does it falsely lead us to unattainable dreams?