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Chorus 1: Zeus, king of the gods, was angry with Prometheus for giving the gift of fire to the mortals.

Chorus 2: He was also angry with the mortals for taking the gift. He would punish Prometheus and the mortals.

Chorus 1: Epimetheus, Prometheus’s brother, would help him punish the mortals, although Epimetheus didn’t know it.

Chorus 2: One day, Zeus called the brothers to him.

CHORUS 1 CHORUS 2 ZEUS (ZOOS) PROMETHEUS (pro-MEE-thee-us) EPIMETHEUS (ep-uh-MEE-thee-us) APHRODITE (af-reh-DY-tee) HERMES (HER-meez) APOLLO (uh-PAH-loh) PANDORA (pan-DOR-ah)

DISEASE

CRUELTY

PAIN

OLD AGE

DISAPPOINTMENT

HATE

JEALOUSY

WAR

DEATH

HOPE

Characters

Pandora’s Box

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Zeus: Come here, my friends.

Epimetheus: Here we are.

Prometheus: What is it, Zeus?

Zeus: Well, first of all, Prometheus. You gave the gift of fire to the mortals. I am very angry about that. Such a wonderful thing should be only for gods like us, not lowly mortals.

Prometheus: Sorry, Zeus.

Zeus: You will be severely punished for what you’ve done. I’ll deal with you later. Now Epimetheus.

Epimetheus: Y-y-yes, Zeus.

Zeus: To you, I have a gift. A wife! I made her myself with some help from the other gods.

Epimetheus: Great! What is she like?

Zeus: See for yourself. Gods, bring in Pandora!

Aphrodite: Here she is. I have given her beauty so she can please your eyes.

hermes: I have given her a clever tongue so she can amuse you.

Apollo: I have given her the gift of music so she can entertain you.

Chorus 1: Zeus had given her the gift of curiosity.

Chorus 2: But he didn’t mention that to Epimetheus.

Epimetheus: Wow, she’s wonderful. Thank you, Zeus.

Prometheus: No fair!

Zeus: (To Prometheus) Never mind, you. (To Epimetheus and Pandora) Go and live happily together. Oh, yes, take this box as a wedding gift. (Zeus hands Epimetheus a box.) But you must never, ever open it.

Epimetheus: We won’t. It’s beautiful. Thank you again.

"

Chorus 1: So Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock, while Epimetheus went home with his new wife.

Chorus 2: Little did they know, Zeus’s plan to punish the mortals was about to unfold.

Pandora: Okay, Epi, we’re in our own home now. Let’s see what’s in the box.

Epimetheus: Oh, no, Pandora. I promised Zeus we wouldn’t.

Pandora: You are a married god now. You don’t have to listen to Zeus.

Epimetheus: Yes, I do, and you should too. He is a very powerful god—the most powerful. If he says don’t open the box, you don’t open the box, and that’s that. (He leaves.)

Pandora: Hmm . . . I didn’t promise anything. But maybe Epimetheus is right. Still, what could happen? It seems like a harmless box.

There are probably some fine dishes or jewels in it. I must find out! No, I shouldn’t. But it’s my wedding present too. I will!

Chorus 1: Don’t do it, Pandora!

Chorus 2: Listen to your husband and to almighty Zeus.

Pandora: I don’t have to listen to anyone! Go away!

Chorus 1 & 2: You’ll be sorry!

Chorus 1: Pandora took a little gold key and opened the box a crack.

Pandora: (Opening the box) Just a little peek . . .

Chorus 2: Suddenly, out popped the world’s Miseries, ready to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting mortals!

Disease: Ah-hah! You foolish girl! You have let us out!

Pandora: Who are you?

Disease: I am Disease. Now man shall get sick.

Cruelty: I am Cruelty. Now men shall be mean to one another.

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Pain: I am Pain. Man shall now hurt.

Old Age: I am Old Age. Pretty self-explanatory.

Disappointment: I’m Disappointment. Now man shall feel let down.

Hate: I’m Hate. Man will now dislike others.

Jealousy: I am Jealousy. Man will now yearn for the things others have.

War: I’m War. Man will not live in peace.

Death: And I am Death. Man will not live forever!

Pandora: What have I done?

Hope: (Sweetly, peeking out from the box) You have played out Zeus’s punishment to man for accepting Prometheus’s gift of fire. These Miseries will go out among man and cause them much suffering.

Pandora: Well, who are you? You don’t seem very miserable.

Hope: I am Hope. Keep me in the box. The Miseries will go out among the mortals. But I will remain so that humans will always have me in spite of all the evils that have gone out among them. I will help them bear the pain, but only if I remain safe inside this box.

Pandora: Oh. Okay. Bye-bye now.

Chorus 1: And so Pandora shut the box, leaving Hope inside to help man bear the new Miseries.

Chorus 2: And to this day, when someone “opens Pandora’s box,” he or she causes trouble.

Pandora: Some wedding gift! I really wanted a toaster!

THE END

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Glossary

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Chorus 1: Zeus, the mightiest of the gods, was married to Hera, the goddess of marriage.

Chorus 2: Zeus, being a powerful god, was popular with the ladies. He liked to flirt. As you will see, Hera will have none of it.

Zeus: Ah, what a beautiful day! I think I’ll pop on down to Earth and walk in the woods a bit.

CHORUS 1 CHORUS 2 ZEUS (ZOOS) HERA (HEER-uh) NYMPH 1 (NIMF) NYMPH 2 ECHO (ECK-oh) NARCISSUS (nar-SIS-us)

Characters

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