As per the creation myth of the Abrahamic Religion, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman who ever walked on Earth but the story of the origin of man-kind as per Greek mythology is less known and is comparatively darker than the book of genesis.
Men and women were created at separate times, men were walking earth long before the women. The creation of the first woman, Pandora, was indeed a punishment not a gift by God.
The five ages of Mankind
Golden age, where the men were immortal, dwelling on Olympus made of Gold and lived like Gods. As the golden age came to an end, they became good spirits who used to look over mortals.
Then came the silver age, where the men were made of silver, still dwelling on Olympus, but were no longer immortal.
The silver age was later followed by the Bronze and heroic Age. Lastly came, the present one, the Iron age, the age of sufferings.
However, it is difficult to figure out the age of mankind in which Pandora was created. The story of Pandora is entangled with Prometheus, whose narrative begins at Mecone, which is conceivably put sometime after the silver age of mankind.
The tale of Prometheus
An incident took place, where, Prometheus cut open an ox and divided it into two parts.
The small half contained, the meat of the animals swaddled in the ox’s stomach, and the bigger half was filled with animal bones covered up in the fat of the ox.
Prometheus succeeded in tricking the God, as God fell for the bigger part and ended up choosing the part filled with bones while the mankind got the edible meat.
In wrath with Prometheus trickery, Zeus withheld fire from the men so they couldn’t eat the meat.
This cause Prometheus to steal fire from the Gods, he got caught in the act. Prometheus was bound in chains and an eagle used to eat his liver everyday, which grew back every night over and over.
Prometheus was at las freed by the hero Heracles, but Zeus decided to punish the entire mankind along with him.
The making of Pandora
Zeus molded a young woman out of earth and water, gave here a feministic voice and strength.
Then she was showered with gifts from the Gods, Athena blessed her with the talent of crafts.
Aphrodite granted her charms and curiosity. Hermes bestowed her with a crafty mind and unscrupulous nature.
The young woman was then dressed and adored by the Gods.
As she was loaded with a plethora of gifts from the Gods, she was named Pandora meaning ‘all gifts’.
Later,as a gift, she was sent by Hermes to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus. Although, Promethues had warned his brother, Epimetheus, not to accept any kind of gifts from Zeus. Bowled by her beauty, Epimetheus forgot about the warning and accepted Pandora as his wife.
The mysterious gift of Zeus
Upon seeing her getting married, Zeus was pleased that everything was going as per his plan.
He presented a beautiful jar as a wedding gift to Pandora and expressed an important condition that she is forbidden from opening the vessel.
As she was gifted with curiosity too along with many other factors, she started to speculate that what was kept in the jar. She was unable to comprehend why would Zeus gift her something which she was not allowed to see.
Eventually, the very thing happened which Zeus had planned, Pandora curiosity took over her and as the Epimetheus left the room she opened the box.
The jar poured a stream of demonic creatures that consisted of sorrows, death, disease, pain, poverty, and all the evils of the world. Pandora quickly slammed the lid of the jar to prevent all these creatures from being unleashed on earth, but it was too late.
The demons had escaped and only one small thing was left at the bottom of the jar, Hope.
This is how Pandora became punishment and not a gift to the mankind, as she unleashed numerous demons in the forms of death, sadness, epidemic and other evils on earth.