Shakuntala Mythology

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“So here you are, just another mixed-up kid, daughter of a sage and celestial sex worker, clueless like rest of us about your address- hermitage or castle, earth or sky, here or hereafter” Myth gets a new color, a new shape with each telling, and each age rewrites its own myth. In Hindu mythology the story of Shakuntala is among one such myth which has been twisted, punctuated and given different shades in every age. This paper attempts to show these different shades in varying forms in which the story of Shakuntala has been presented in Mahabharata, and subsequently in Kalidasa’s famous play Abhijnanashakuntala and still later in the twentieth century, stepping in and out of the mythic framework by Arundhathi Subramaniam. Arundhathi Subramaniam, a poet and a writer on spirituality, love and culture, contemporized the mythological character Shakuntala in her cycle of poems entitled “Eight Poems for…show more content…
This made the anger prone sage Durvasa feel insulted and provoked him to curse her of being forgotten by Dushyanta. The second poem from “Eight poems for Shakuntala” mocks at the way Shakuntala’s sufferings were justified as necessary stages for a woman to become pious and virtuous. The only ‘trick’ to be an ideal woman/wife “is not to see it as betrayal…” Arundhathi Subramaniam retells the epic story of Shakuntala by presenting the character as an archetype, someone like us trying to make sense of life. She negates the concept of an erring woman and pushes the readers to mull over Shakuntala’s character with a different perspective. She discards everything which uses ‘sexual submissiveness’ of a woman as a tool to examine her chastity. Sexual desire is a common trait in both men and women regardless of their background and religion. Her inversion questions the imbalance of the traditional norms and codes of behavior led out for male and female characters. She

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