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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Greek mythology, Prometheus and Epimetheus were given the task of creating man after they were spared imprisonment in Tartarus because they would not fight with their fellow Titans.

Because Prometheus assigned Epimetheus the task of creating the qualities of wings, fur, strength, cunning, swiftness, and other vaious traits, by the time he came to working on man, there was little left. So, Prometheus decided to make man stand on only two feet.  Prometheus also gave man fire. 

After most of his family had been banished to Tartarus, Prometheus turned his love to man.  When Zeus demanded that man must present a portion of each animal sacrificed to the gods, Prometheus decided to trick Zeus.  He wrapped fat and only bones in one bundle and hid the meat in the hide in another.  When Zeus chose wrongly, he had to accept the bones since he had given his word.  However, to avenge himself, Zeus took fire from man.  But Prometheus lit a torch from the heat of the sun and returned fire to man.  This act enraged Zeus, who devised another punishment for man.

Zeus, then, had Hephaestus create a mortal who was of stunning beauty, but of a lying and deceptive tongue.  This was Pandora, who was given a jar that she was forbidden to open.  She was sent down to Epimetheus, who was staying among men.  Pandora's beauty was too great for Epimetheus, who allowed her to stay.  Tempted by the jar, she opened it, unleashing evil.  But the bottom still held one good thing:  hope.

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