Study Guide

Prometheus and Pandora Women and Femininity

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Women and Femininity

Hesiod must have had some nasty experiences with women, don't you think? In the myth of Prometheus and Pandora, Pandora sure doesn't get the royal treatment. Yes, she's the first woman, but she's also described as being full of deceit, trickery, and cunning. And as if that weren't enough, she then opens a jar that releases horrifying terribleness onto the world.

Since Pandora is the first woman, we don't think it's too much of a leap to say that she was meant to represent all women. So are the Greeks saying that the worst blight ever inflicted on the male of the species was the female? Could be. And some people think that Hesiod's version of this story might represent a shift to patriarchy (male domination) in Greek society.

Whatever the case, there's no doubt that this story is full of blatantly anti-women themes. We know we're judging it from a 21st-century standpoint, but come on, dude.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What major traits do the gods give Pandora in the story? How do these traits comment on the nature of womankind?
  2. Does this story portray anything positive about women? If so, what?
  3. Compare and contrast the view of women in the stories of Adam and Eve and Prometheus and Pandora."

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