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Post Office


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A: Rabindranath Tagore Pf: 1913, Dublin; 1917, India Pb: 1912 Tr: 1914 G: Drama in 2 acts; Bengali prose S: Indian village, early 20th c. C: 8m, 2 children (1m, 1f)The young boy Amal has fallen sick, and, since autumn is approaching, the doctor advises Amal's guardian to keep him to his room. Amal's only contact with the outside world is through his window. From here he watches village life, talks to passers-by, gives his toys to some boys so that he may see them playing from his window, and is promised by the flower-seller's daughter Sudha that she will bring him some flowers. From the watchman, he learns that the big building with the flag is His Majesty's new Post Office, and, the watchman suggests, the King himself may send Amal a letter. The village headman hands Amal a blank sheet of paper, which he claims to be a letter from His Majesty. Amal dreams of being a royal postman himself, delivering the King's messages to small boys. While he awaits a visit from the King, another doctor comes and orders doors and windows to be opened, so that the stars may shine in. As Amal slowly falls asleep, perhaps to die, Sudha keeps her promise, and brings him some flowers.

A: Rabindranath Tagore Pf: 1913, Dublin; 1917, India Pb: 1912 Tr: 1914 G: Drama in 2 acts; Bengali prose S: Indian village, early 20th c. C: 8m, 2 children (1m, 1f)

In the year he gained the Nobel Prize for Literature, this short lyrical play added to Tagore's international fame, being seen in Dublin (thanks to Yeats), Paris, and Berlin before being performed in his native India. In addition to offering a charming and mercifully unsentimental tale, the play has also been regarded as a metaphor of the artist, looking out on but never wholly engaging in life, and beyond that, the whole human experience of the soul with its yearning and flights of imagination being trapped in the limitations of the body.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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