The myth of Pandora's box - Iseult Gillespie
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The first iteration of the Pandora myth has been traced back to the ancient Greek poet Hesiod, who believed that Pandora’s experiences were a metaphor for the root of all evil. But her legacy is much more complicated—and Hesiod’s Pandora has been revisited and scrutinized over time: click here for an exploration of the ways in which women have historically been treated in myths, as well as a discussion on how we move on from earlier versions. This article also provides a detailed overview of the myth’s development over time - including what’s been lost and what’s been gained.
For painters and poets, the rich moral quandary of Pandora’s box was a source of inspiration. The pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted her with the fiery red hair of the movement’s muses, and wrote of her releasing unknown forces into the world. Later, the French Surrealist artist René Magritte took an entirely abstract approach to the myth. He titled a 1951 painting of a figure surveying an empty street “La boîte de Pandore.”
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