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Shakuntala - Essay Example

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The Shakuntala is generally taken to be the finest example of a rasa drama in Classical Sanskrit literature. Here the relation of plot-structure to rasa is explored, and an attempt is made to show that the Indian theory of plot, often overlooked or regarded as a mechanical formula, is a carefully crafted complement to the rasa theory, of great help in the interpretation of dramatic works.(Gerow, 559) The primary protagonist of the play is a Shakuntala, daughter of sage Vishwamitra and Menaka.. The other vital characters in the play are namely- Sage Kanva, Dushyanta, king of Hastinapura, Durvasa an ancient sage who is anger-prone and a fisherman. Menaka was an apsara who was sent to distract sage Vishwamitra from his deep meditations by Indra. She successfully distracted him and the resulted conjugal bliss led to the birth of Shakuntala. Vishwamitra, now angered by the loss of the virtue gained through his many hard years of strict ascetism, parted himself from his child and the mother and returned to his meditation. Menaka found that she could neither leave the child with him, nor could she take her with her to the heavenly realms. So she left Shankuntala on the banks of a river under the mighty Himalayas. She was found by sage Kanva who named her and brought her up. Shakuntala grew up into a beautiful young maiden. One day Dushayanta, pursuing a male deer wounded by his arrow into the ashrama of sage Kanva, saw Shakuntala nursing the deer, her pet, and fell in love with her. ...Show more
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Summary

Shakuntala is a pouplar play written in mix of Sanskrit and the Maharashtri Prakrita , a dialect of Sanskrit , by Kalidasa. Although, the exact date has not yet been confirmed, it is believed to be dated back to a period between the 1st century BC and 4th century AD. …
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