Sapphire WareProfessor ZacharyMalone English 130 08 December 2017 Pandoraand EveThestory of how it all began in Hesiod’s Theogony,and in the Biblical book of Genesis exposessimilarities that I instantly picked up on. Hesiod and Genesis share the sameorder of events: mankind exists in alongside heavenly beings in utopia wherethere is just; a woman is introduced into this utopian world; the actions ofthe woman produces the loss of before said utopia. This pattern is used by bothworks of literature.
The chronology givesreaders an explanation of problems such as chaos and turmoil that exist duringthe time period written, and Hesiod and Genesis credit the first woman withthese problems. In a journal article Publishedby The Johns Hopkins University Press, the author declares that “It is especiallystriking that the biblical explanation of evil is so similar to that suppliedby classical mythology (Glenn 179)” and I agree with this statement. Throughoutthe most ancient works of literature, the original action was done by man but itseems that a man’s faults are all scapegoated by woman. With that being said, wemay ask the question of: Why both Greco- Roman and Judeo- Christian accounts ofcreation depict woman as the root of man’s evil?InTheogony, Hesiod tells the not so known story of Pandora. “While in Theogony hername is not mentioned… her anonymity is significant (Wickkiser 559). Hesiodrefers to the first woman as a “lovely evil…From her is the race of femalewomen, from her is the deadly race and tribes of women, a great plague tomortals (Theogony 585).” Pandora’s beauty makes her striking and desirable tomen, but she is also deceitful or evil not just by her actions, but by her traitsbelow that beautiful façade. Since Pandora is the first human woman, she thenpasses these traits to all other women.
InGenesis, the fall of mankind is of course: blamed on a woman despite the factsof the event. Eve is influenced by a serpent to eat a fruit on a tree in theGarden of Eden, which she shares with Adam (Genesis 3.1 – 3.6).
When Godrealizes what they have done, he punishes them similar to Zeus punishing Prometheus.Many theories can corroborate to the fact that since Eve ate the fruit firstshe is to blame for what came after. Butdespite these similarities, Eve and Pandora are in some ways different. Eve wascreated from one of Adams’ ribs and is thought to be virtuous. This is believedbecause Eve is from the same material that created Adam. Pandora, conversely,is basically different from man.
I figured this because throughout Theogony, Hesiod does not give a backgroundof how man came to be but Pandora’s attributes from the gods, her beauty anddeceitfulness, makes her a separate individual. However, Eve is meant to be acompanion for Adam. To say that Pandora was a gift is ironic in this casebecause how can a punishment be a gift. Theogony exposes this irony, by callingher evil for man and with the instance with the jar indicating her deceitfulnature.
Neither work specifies if Pandora actually undergoes sufferingalongside man. Eve, however, is a victim of her actions as much as Adam is, andthese two suffer together, if not wholly in the same way.Despite their inherentdifferences, I do believe they are similar in how they are portrayed as the “lesssignificant” sex. Despite Eve being created from Adam, she was not created ofan entirely new framework such as Adam, as if she was not important enough todo so. Both Pandora and Eve were created secondly-both as “extras”; Pandora asa punishment and Eve as a companion for a lonely Adam. Women did not seem to bein the larger plan for humanity and after being created they became a nuisancefor mankind.Moreover, I think that the most obviousdifference between the two figures is in the purpose of their creation.
Pandorais intentionally created to be a “good evil” (Hesiod, Theogony 585), but Eve isintended to be a companion to lonely Adam. I think that the difference in theirparticular creators’ purposes might be demonstrative of how society views theentire gender. Even though Eve did eat the apple, she was set by God to besomething moral for Adam. However, Pandora was never intended to be a generosityto humanity. From her very beginning, she was malevolently intended. Maybe itsays something with the Greeks were woman were never seen in a positive way.Her creation was the beginning of downfall for Man, according to the Greeks.Eve, however, was the type of gift that needed to have a “return to sender”sticker.
She later proved herself to be a faulty person when she was intendedto bring happiness. Today, women are still seen as the “lesser” sex but let usnot forget all that women have accomplished since then hopefully putting an endto the age-old myth that woman are the weaker sex. Works CitedGlenn, Justin. “Pandora andEve: Sex as the Root of all Evil.” The Classical World, vol.71, no.
3, 1977, pp. 179-185.Hesiod, Apostolos N. Athanassakis,and Apostolos N. H.
Athanassakis. Theogony ; Works and Days ; Shield:Hesiod ; Introduction, Translation, and Notes by Apostolos N.Athanassakis.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,1983.The New OxfordAnnotated Bible with the Apocrypha. Eds. Michael D. Coogan, Marc Z. Brettler, CarolA. Newsom and Pheme Perkins.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print. NewRevised Standard Version.Wickkiser, Bronwen L. “Hesiodand the Fabricated Woman: Poetry and Visual Art in the Theogony.”Mnemosyne, vol.
63, no. 4, 2010, pp. 557-576.