In Hesiodic scholarship, the interpretive crux has endured: Is the hope imprisoned within a jar full of evils to be considered a benefit for humanity, or a further curse? A number of mythology textbooks echo the sentiments of M. L. West: "[Hope's retention in the jar] is comforting, and we are to be thankful for this antidote to our present ills." Some scholars such as Mark Griffith, however, take the opposite view: "[Hope] seems to be a blessing withheld from men so that their life should be the more dreary and depressing." The interpretation hangs on two related questions: First, how is elpis to be rendered, the Greek word usually translated as "hope"? Second, does the jar preserve elpis for men, or keep it away from men?
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a famous 19th century American writer of novels and short stories. The stories that appear here come from his book 'A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls', in which he re-wrote classic Greek mythology for children. 2b1af7f3a8