The Magic of Patience: A Jataka Tale
A Short Play Using the Four Temperaments
by Donna Simmons
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This play is based on the ancient Jataka tale, The Magic of Patience. This is one of the many tales told of the lives of the Buddha, who by his deeds and words, taught his people of the value of compassion.
This is a great play for homeschoolers because, being so short and simple, it can be adapted for various situations. One could produce a very ‘professional’ play, on a stage, complete with elaborate costumes and scenery. Or one could easily perform it in the corner of someone’s living room.
One can readily see the characters in terms of the four temperaments. In Waldorf pedagogy, teachers use the four temperaments – choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic – as the basis for the presentation of lessons and as a therapeutic tool to meet the soul needs of the children they are responsible for. There is a short section prefacing this play explaining something of the four temperaments.