A new chapter in the history of Greek tragedy by Denys Lionel Page

By Denys Lionel Page

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Extra info for A new chapter in the history of Greek tragedy

Sample text

At one end of this spectrum were the nātaka and the prakarana, full length plays with five to ten acts, and plots drawn from the epics, history or fiction. At the other end were satirical monologues or bhanas. In between there were heroic, tragic or comic plays of one to four acts, and archaic plays about gods and demons. Bhasa’s works cover many of these categories. But the translations presented in this collection are, with two exceptions, one-act plays mainly of the types anka and vyāyoga, evoking respectively the tragic or the heroic flavour.

SECOND I am grateful. THIRD Sir, I salute you. SECOND Good luck. THIRD I am grateful. SECOND Sir, I want to say something. GHATOTKACHA Say it quickly. SECOND I see a lake in this forest. Now that I am pledged for the next world, I would first like to quench my thirst. GHATOTKACHA Go, resolute one. But my mother’s dinner time is passing. So come back quickly. SECOND O father, I go. (Exit). PRIEST Alas! We have been robbed. We have been robbed. My sons were like a mountain with three peaks. Now the middle peak is shattered and I am sick at heart.

Bhasa makes full use of it in this play to create a dramatic effect and to evoke a sense of familial affection as well as the heroic mood. At the same time his invention of the Keshava Dasa family and its poignant dilemma provides a contrast between the epic figures and the more down-to-earth characters in the play. Both the opening benediction and the epilogue of this play invoke the god Vishnu through his synonyms Hari and Upendra. To facilitate understanding, only the former name has been used in the present translation.

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