Pandora's Box | Summary | Class 11

Summary of " Pandora's Box ". " Pandora's Box " is the re-written version of the Greek myth. It presents the story of how Pandora let loose the " Troubles " in the world and how life became bearable only with the coming of "hope". The conflict between gods and human beings and between hopes and fears is the main theme of the play.
Also Read:
Pandora's Box - WordMeanings And Translation In Nepali
Pandora's Box - Questions And Answers

Summary Of 'Pandora's Box' In English:

At the beginning of the play the world is free from any troubles. It has just begun. It is the world of perfect freedom where children can play safely. The clouds look like ships and the small rivers murmur. All the gods and goddesses are happy. The world is lighted by the sun.
Pandora enters the stage first and plays with an imaginary ball. She plays with the ball like the gods and goddesses who play with the moon and the stars. Epimetheus enters and they throw the ball to each other. They are playing happily.

The leader of chorus is worried. Then Hermes, the messenger of gods, enters there. He has worn silver shoes. The leader thinks he has come to bless the children. They all greet Hermes merrily ( खुशीसाथ ). He has come at Zeus's command. Hermes is carrying an imaginary box. Hermes smiles at the children and holds out the box. Pandora is fascinated by the box. It is the box of Sandalwood with cavern faces smiling curiously and writhing snakes around it. There is an amulet of gold on the lid. Hermes warns Pandora, then smiles and leaves.

Pandora and Epimetheus begin to play again but Pandora is still fascinated by the box. She hears a voice coming from it, speaking to her. Listening to the voices within, she lifts the box and looks at it. She hears evil voices requesting her to open the lid. She suddenly opens the box's lid. The troubles escape from the box and begin to attack her. Epimetheus comes running in. Pandora and Epimetheus manage to beat the troubles away. Epimetheus looks angrily and abusively at her. First she challenges him, but later she hangs her head with shame.

The chorus explains that Pandora has let evil out of the box and it is impossible to put back again. Now peace and innocence have been lost forever. The people are sad, destroyed and unhappy. If someone had the power to hold the time's wheel and turn it back an hour, everybody would be happy. Pandora is very worried about her deed. But she listens to another voice again coming out from the box. When the box was opened a second time, "Hope" was released. "Hope" encourages them to be happy. This explains the world as it is today. There are troubles, but there is also hope.

Or You May Choose Below Summary (STORY):

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were two brothers named Epimetheus and Prometheus. They were good gods. They had good hearts. They were good friends.

One day, Prometheus got in trouble with Zeus. Angry over something or other, Zeus had declared that man did not deserve fire. Because he had a kind heart, and he knew how much man needed fire for food and warmth, Prometheus gave man the secret of fire even though Zeus had told all the gods not to do that. Zeus was furious that his order had been ignored. As punishment, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock for many years.

But that was not enough punishment, not for Zeus. Once Prometheus was chained to a rock, Zeus went after Prometheus' brother, the gentle, kind-hearted Epimetheus. Zeus did not chain Epimetheus to a rock. Zeus had a more sneaky punishment in mind.

First, Zeus ordered the gods' handyman, the maker of things - Hephaestus - to make Zeus a daughter. Hephaestus made a woman out of clay, a beautiful woman. He brought her to life, and then brought her to Zeus. Zeus named his lovely new daughter Pandora.

Zeus knew that Epimetheus was lonely. Zeus told Epimetheus that his brother, Hephaestus, had to be punished and that's why he was chained to a rock, but he felt sorry that this punishment left Epimetheus without the company of his brother. That's why Zeus had decided to give Pandora in marriage to Epimetheus. It was not the truth of course, but then nearly everyone in the ancient Greek world knew better than to believe the mighty Zeus.
Epimetheus was kind-hearted and gentle and thoughtful, but he was no fool. He knew Zeus was up to something. But he loved Pandora at first sight.

Zeus gave the newlyweds a gift. Some say it was a jar. Some say it was a box. Whatever it was, it was locked. It came with a note. The note said: "DO NOT OPEN." Attached to the note was a key. It was all very curious.

You can guess what happened next. It was Pandora whose curiosity got the better of her. One day, she used the key to open the box. As she raised the lid, out flew all the bad things in the world today - envy, sickness, hate, disease. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late.

Epimetheus heard her weeping. He came running. Pandora opened the lid to show him it was empty. Quickly, before she could slam the lid shut, one tiny bug flew out. He gave Pandora a big buggy smile in thanks for his freedom and flew away. That tiny bug was named Hope. And Hope made all the difference in the world.

Or You May Choose Below Summary:

In this play only The Chorus and The Leader of the Chorus speak. The Chorus is made up of l2 people. Normally they all speak at the same time. Sometimes only 6 of them speak-this is called The Semi-Chorus.

The other characters are Pandora (a girl). Epimetheus(a boy) and Hermes(a god). They do not speak. They only mime. The chorus and the stage directions describe what they do.
Pandora enters first alone and plays with an imaginary ball. Epimetheus enters and they throw the ball to each other. They are playing. They are happy.

The Leader of the Chorus is worried. Then Hermes enters and The Leader thinks he has come to bless the children. Hermes is carrying an imaginary box. Pandora is fascinated by the box. Hermes warns her, then smiles and leaves.

Pandora and Epimetheus begin to play again but Pandora is still fascinated by the box. She hears a voice coming from it. She lifts the box up and then opens it. The Troubles escape from the box and begin to attack her. Epimetheus and Pandora manage to beat The Troubles away.

The Chorus explains that Pandora has let evil out of me box and it is impossible to put it back again. Pandora hears another voice from the box. She listens carefully and, even though she is frightened she opens the box again. This time, Hope flies out.

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