aka the Jar (Pithos) of Pandora
Before the story begins, let me say that some people take umbrage at the title “Pandora’s Box” and insist it should be “Pandora’s Jar”. They may have reason — based on what Hesiod wrote, but myths change with the re-telling and people are accustomed to “Pandora’s Box,” so I shall use the term, in this, my re-telling of the myth of Pandora and her box.
The background to the story of Pandora’s Box is the Titan Prometheus‘s passive-aggression towards the king of the gods, Zeus. Having gotten away with or having paid the price for one misdeed, Prometheus kept going back for more. Zeus was very creative in the way he meted out punishments. Pandora was one example.
The Gift of Pandora
Prometheus was mankind’s benefactor. The king of the gods wasn’t crazy about us and didn’t want us to have, among other things, fire. Prometheus, on the other hand, wanted good things for us, so stealthily, he brought us the gift of fire. In return, Zeus presented man with a “gift,” Pandora, the first woman. While Prometheus may have crafted man, woman was a different sort of creature. She came from the forge of Hephaestus, beautiful as a goddess and beguiling, thanks to traits bestowed by Athena and Zeus. Zeus presented her as a bride to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus. Prometheus had the gift of thinking ahead, but Epimetheus was only capable of afterthought, so Prometheus, expecting retribution for his audacity, had warned his brother against accepting gifts from Zeus. [Note: this is not the origin of the expression, Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.]
Zeus gave the gods-crafted Pandora as bride to Epimetheus, along with a box with a warning label telling the couple never to open it. Epimetheus was dazzled by his bride, Pandora. Perhaps he forgot the advice of his prescient brother. Perhaps he thought they were supposed to hold the box in safe-keeping for Zeus against his return — that it wasn’t a gift, at all.
Pandora Opens the Box
Epimetheus insisted that his wife obey the letter of the label. Unfortunately, one day Pandora’s husband left her side for a few hours. Pandora was gifted with curiosity as much as the other attributes given her by the gods. For her the box was a gift, not something to be kept in trust. What business had Zeus to tell her not to open it? Perhaps she’d listened to her brother-in-law’s tales of tricking the king of the gods. Perhaps she saw nothing to fear. Maybe if she just took a quick peak…. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, she opened the box Zeus had given them just a crack. As Pandora did so, ghostly forms gushed forth from the crack. Pandora had unleashed all the Evils now known to man. No longer could man loll about all day, but he would have to work and would succumb to illnesses.
At the very bottom of the container was the last thing to come out. It was something that wasn’t evil. We call the good that Pandora unleashed by the name
Absolute Power (film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Absolute Power is a 1997 American political thriller film produced by, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood as a master jewel thief who witnesses the killing of a woman by Secret Service agents. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1996 novelAbsolute Power by David Baldacci. Screened at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, the film also stars Gene Hackman, Ed Harris,Laura Linney, Judy Davis and Scott Glenn. It was also the last screen appearance of E.G. Marshall.
During the course of a burglary, master jewel thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) witnesses the killing of Christy Sullivan (Melora Hardin), the beautiful young wife of elderly billionaire Walter Sullivan (E.G. Marshall), during her drunken rendezvous with Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman), the President of the United States. Walter Sullivan is Richmond’s friend and financial supporter.
Hiding behind a one-way mirror, Luther watches as Richmond sadistically slaps Christy and tries to strangle her. When she attacks him with a letter opener, Secret Service agents Bill Burton (Scott Glenn) and Tim Collin (Dennis Haysbert) shoot her to death. Chief of Staff Gloria Russell (Judy Davis) arrives and makes the scene appear as if a burglar killed Sullivan’s wife. Luther escapes with some valuables as well as the bloody letter opener.
The next day, Detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris) begins his investigation of the crime. Luther quickly becomes a prime suspect in the burglary because of his reputation as a thief, but Frank does not believe it likely he murdered Christy. Just as Luther is about to flee the country, he sees President Richmond on television, vowing to find the murderer. Incensed by this hypocrisy, Luther decides to bring the president to justice. Meanwhile, Burton asks Frank to keep him informed about the case while a Secret Service agent wiretaps Frank’s office telephone.
Luther’s estranged daughter Kate (Laura Linney), who works as a prosecutor, accompanies Detective Frank to Luther’s home to search for clues. Photographs in the house indicate that Luther has secretly been watching her for years. She still suspects Luther of the crime, and therefore agrees to set him up. Frank guarantees Luther’s safety, but through the wiretap Burton learns of the plan. Someone also tips off Sullivan, who hires a hitman (Richard Jenkins) to kill Luther.
The two snipers, each unaware of the other, try to shoot Luther when he arrives at an outdoor cafe to meet his daughter. But they both miss, and Luther escapes through the police cordon because he came prepared, wearing the uniform of a police officer beneath his coat. Luther later explains to Kate exactly how Christy was killed, and by whom.
Luther begins to taunt Chief of Staff Russell, first by sending her a photograph of the letter opener, then tricking her into wearing Christy’s necklace in public. Correctly suspecting that Kate knows the truth, President Richmond elects to have her killed. Luther learns from Detective Frank that the Secret Service has taken over surveillance of Kate, so races back to WashingtonD.C. to protect her. He arrives at her jogging path just moments after Collin has used his SUV to push her and her car off a cliff.
Collin tries to kill her again at the hospital, approaching her bed with a poison-filled syringe. Luther is waiting this time. He subdues the Secret Service agent by jabbing him in the neck with a syringe of his own, forcing Collin to drop his. Collin pleads for mercy, but Luther says he’s “fresh out,” delivering a fatal dose.
Luther stops the car and hands over the letter opener, dropping off Sullivan outside the White House. The trusted Sullivan is able to get through security with it and enter the Oval Office. After arriving at the White House, Sullivan tells Luther that he never stopped loving Christy.
Meanwhile, alerted by Luther that his phones have been bugged, Frank discovers that a remorseful Burton has committed suicide. Frank uses the evidence Burton left behind to arrest Russell. On the television news, there is the shocking news, “confirmed” by Sullivan, that the President has committed suicide by stabbing himself to death. Luther is happy to know that Sullivan got justice after all.
Back at the hospital, sketching on a pad, Luther watches over Kate in her hospital bed. Detective Frank visits briefly, whereupon Luther suggests to Kate that she invite Frank to supper sometime, and then continues to draw a new picture of the daughter he loves.
Differences between book and film
- The main protagonist in the novel is a young lawyer named Jack Graham, a good friend of Luther’s and his daughter Kate’s ex-boyfriend. He was completely omitted in the film adaptation.
- The physical features of the characters in the novel are significantly different than in the film: President Richmond is much younger (described as being in his early 40s), Gloria Russell is younger as well (37 years old), Agent Collin is Caucasian as opposed to being African-American in the film, and Walter Sullivan is slightly older in the book than in the film.
- In the book Luther is caught by police instead of escaping when the snipers bungle their attempt to shoot him at his meeting with Kate, and then he is killed by Agent Collin while being brought into the courthouse for his arraignment.
- Walter Sullivan is killed two-thirds of the way through the book by Agent Burton after the president realizes that Sullivan has figured out, from the president’s slip of the tongue about why Christy didn’t go to Barbados, that the president was involved in her death.
- The novel’s end is entirely different from that of the film: President Richmond is impeached and receives the death
penalty, Gloria Russell receives 10 years probation rather than prison time in exchange for testifying against the president in court, Agent Collin is sentenced to 20 years in prison instead of being injected with poison by Luther, Agent Burton commits suicide in his home rather than his office, and Kate is not forced over a cliff in her car in the novel, but leaves Washington, D. C. and moves to Atlanta, Georgia.
Witness (1985 film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a detective protecting a young Amish boy who becomes a target after he witnesses a murder in Philadelphia.
The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for seven BAFTA Awards, winning one for Maurice Jarre‘s score, and was also nominated for six Golden Globe Awards. William Kelley and Earl W. Wallace won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the 1986 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay presented by the Mystery Writers of America.
Rachel Lapp (McGillis), a young Amish widow, and her 8-year-old son Samuel (Haas) are traveling by train to visit Rachel’s sister. At the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Samuel witnesses a murder. Detective John Book (Ford) is assigned to the case and he and his partner, Sergeant Elton Carter (Jennings), question Samuel. Samuel is unable to identify the perpetrator from mug shots or apolice lineup, but notices a newspaper clipping with a picture of narcotics officer James McFee (Glover) and recognizes him as one of the killers. Book remembers that McFee was previously responsible for a drug raid where evidence had mysteriously disappeared.
Book confides his suspicions to his superior officer, Chief Paul Schaeffer (Sommer), who advises Book to keep the case secret so they can work out how to move forward. When Book returns home, he is ambushed by McFee and badly wounded before McFee escapes. Since only Schaeffer had been told, Book realizes Schaeffer is also corrupt and must have warned McFee.
Book calls Carter and orders him to remove the Lapp file from the records. He then hides his car and uses his sister’s to return Rachel and Samuel to Lancaster County. After the Lapps’ safe arrival at home, Book passes out in his vehicle in front of their farm.
Impressing upon them that hospitalization will allow the police to find him, Book is gradually returned to health by the Lapps. As Book heals, he begins to develop feelings for Rachel. The Lapps’ neighbor, Daniel Hochleitner (Godunov) had hoped to court her and this becomes a cause of friction. Later Rachel and John are caught dancing, and Rachel’s father-in-law, Eli (Rubes), takes her aside and warns that if she continues she could be shunned by the community. Rachel feels she has done nothing wrong.
Schaeffer, McFee, and a third corrupt officer, “Fergie” Ferguson (MacInnes), intensify their efforts to find Book. In town, Hochleitner and the other Amish men are harassed by locals. Breaking with the Amish tradition of nonviolence, Book retaliates. The fight is reported to the police, and the news reaches Schaeffer.
John subsequently comes upon Rachel as she bathes, and she stands half-naked before him, but he walks away. The two realize they are in love, but because of the publicity the fight has gotten, Book knows he must leave. Upset, Rachel removes her bonnet, and she and John embrace.
The corrupt officers arrive at the Lapp farm and search for Book. Book orders Samuel to run to the neighbors for safety. Book tricks Fergie into the corn silo and suffocates him under tons of corn. He retrieves Fergie’s shotgun and kills McFee. Schaeffer then forces Rachel and Eli out of the house at gunpoint; Eli signs to Samuel (who had returned unseen) to ring the warning bell. Although Schaeffer forces Book to surrender, the loud clanging summons other Amish. With so many witnesses, Schaeffer realizes he cannot escape, and gives up. He is taken by local police.
As Book prepares to leave, he says goodbye to Samuel, Rachel, and Eli in turn. Driving away, he passes Hochleitner, and exchanges a wave of farewell.
The “opening of Pandora’s box” has often been compared to opening a can
of worms. It is akin to unleashing a swarm of stinging and wrathful bees
after someone has the gumption to disturb the peace of their bee-hive. The
consequences of this opening are far-reaching and not to be taken
lightly, in the least.
The Opening of the Pandora Box is an act of Disclosure of the Truth – it is normally carried out by two categories of people – the first group of people is those who lead their lives honestly, sincerely and diligently. Such people become zealous of revealing the truth of a situation after they have been wrongly accused for something that they
never do or never did. It could also be that such people were “framed” for something ranging from a small error to the catastrophic proportions of a misdemeanor, or a felony or a crime that they did not commit. As an act of principle and
a public show of innocence, such people disclose the truth of the matter, so that the
world no longer sees them as “the guilty party.” It is needless and
unnecessary provocation that literally forces them to disclose the
truth. Such an act is initially destructive but the result is
inevitably good and constructive – it opens the doors to new hopes and
fresh beginnings with a clean slate
The second group of people are pranksters, blackmailers, swindlers,
extortionists, racketeers, etc who are out “on a joy-ride” of needless
trouble-causing activities. Such “mischief-makers” inevitably have a
hidden agenda to fulfill and various ulterior motives, including a vengeful spirit that
demands immediate satisfaction. From the beginning to the very end, such acts
are aimed at being destructive and harmful. People who intend to
actively harm others need to be caught and punished and in more serious and extreme
cases, they need to be arrested and convicted to life imprisonment or to suffer the consequences of the death penalty.
The people who get targeted for such behavior are inevitably those who
have “skeletons hidden in their closet.” This philosophy is based on the principle
that most people have something to hide – it is this weakness that is
exploited, especially by the second class of people. Such individuals will go to
any lengths to get their work done and to make their harmful ways known.
Such trouble-makers tend to be sly, cunning and deceitful – they mean harm, all the
way, till the very end of the sordid tale. The Pandora’s Jar that such people exploit to their advantage is malevolent and harmful in its very inception – it is best described here as a jar from which a swarm of menacingly hissing and venomous rattlesnakes spill out. The result is inevitably that of chaos, havoc and disaster.
How do people come across such hidden stories? Sometimes, it is quite
accidental but in the majority of cases it is a deliberate action to
cause hidden gains for the party concerned and much harm and trouble to
the other person(s)against whom such stories are directed.
Whatever the means of how people come across the hidden contents of the Pandora Box, the end does not always justify the means. We live in a day and age where one’s personal safety is highly compromised – when acid-throwing, serial rape, gang-rape, bodily mutilation(s), fatal assault and murder reign supreme and have become the order of the day. Let us suppose that a person comes across acts of extortion, racketeering and swindling being committed by a top politician. Supposing that one witnesses a government official being caught red-handed while accepting huge amounts in bribes or is caught while being in a sexually compromised position, how safe would one feel in voicing publicly one’s doubts and fears? Most people don’t consider it worth all the effort – they’d rather not be living a life of terror, fear and downright harassment. They would rather remain silent than open a can of worms.
It is, thus, not at all surprising how extortionists, swindlers, blackmailers, racketeers, thieves, mobsters, dons of drug cartels, arsonists, terrorists, rapists and murderers are going “scot-free” even after the commission of heinous crimes.
What can one person or a handful of people do to change the world for the better? Not much unless the world’s population decides, for once, to forget their differences and unite in fighting against the many ills and injustices that rule our world.
IN UNITY, THERE IS IMMENSE STRENGTH.
IN UNITY, LIES THE POWER AND STRENGTH TO FIGHT “HAND-IN-HAND AND TOGETHER AS ONE” FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. LET US ACTIVELY WORK TOWARDS THAT END!