Pandora’s box is a troublesome “can of worms”, a gift that seems of great value, but is actually a curse, generating all sorts of unmanageable problems. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman, sent by Zeus, as a gift to Epimetheus, who married her, against the advice of his brother Prometheus. As a wedding present, Zeus gave Pandora a beautiful box, but instructed her that she must never open it. Over time, Pandora was tempted to defy this condition…but when she finally opened the box, all the evils of the world escaped, ever after to afflict mankind.
According to some, hope was the last thing that flew out; others believe that hope alone remained in the box.
From Judy Parkinson, Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pyjamas, Michael O’Mara Books Limited