Essay Title: 

Question on 1 play and 1 poem

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in english, literature and language

It is well known that there is hardly a better way to learn about the ideals of a particular culture than to read its literature . This is especially true where matters concern the most basic archetypes of human existence , such as the masculine and feminine . To be of any interest to the audience , the characters must be tied to the traditional views of the male and female in society very closely , either affirming or contradicting the stereotypes , but never ignorant of them . This fact is most useful when analyzing the historical development of [banner_entry_middle]

a culture . By studying the literature of different periods , we learn of how its very fabric developed , and how much has a particular aspect of a culture changed through time . In this case , we are examining classical Hindu literature , using part of the earlier Tamil Sangam poetry corpus , and Kalidasa ‘s classical play : Sakuntala . From comparing the texts , we can assert that the Hindu ideals of masculinity and femininity have not changed significantly over time , fitting within the traditional cultural canvas with only insignificant variations

Examining one of the main character of Kalidasa ‘s plays , Sakuntala , we see that she is both hereditary – she is the daughter of an apsara and a great hermit – and shown throughout all of her behavior . Sakuntala is a most modest woman , as she is swayed by the King instantly , but holds off from acting on her feelings for a great length of time . She is dutiful – even in emotional distress , she is easily turned away from leaving by the mere reminder of a debt . She is courageous in a specifically feminine sense – not only does she place her trust in the honor of a king , but when her husband fails to not remember her , she does not go into hysterics before him , but , indeed , finds the strength to attempt to appeal to reason . It is only when all hope is lost that she is unable to retain control of herself . Moreover , she accepts her husband the moment he understands his error , without any hesitations . Sakuntala is the ideal woman of Hindu literature , a paragon of virtue . Her female companions also underline this , completing the demonstration of Hindu female virtuousness . They do not speak directly of things they desire but rather hint at it in poetical metaphor . When their friend gets into trouble for noble reasons , they do their best to alleviate her problems and yet are very careful as to not upset her . Subtle , able to go with the flow of life , accepting – this is the ideal portrayed in all women in Sakuntala

Tamil poetry shows a very similar idealized version of women . It is perhaps , simpler – there is not so much emphasis on the sacred and duty as we find in Sakuntala , Sangam poetry mostly deals with secular , human feelings – yet the basic ideals for behavior are the same . Tamil poetry emphasizes the trust of the woman (Paranar (Kuruntokai 36 , her ability to devote herself utterly to her husband so… [banner_entry_footer]

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