Indian Classical Literature
BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Q 1. Write short notes/ answer with reference to the context in about 100 words each:
(i) The purpose of Dramatic Art
Ans. (i) Dramatic art, also known as theater, serves a variety of purposes, including:
Entertainment: One of the primary purposes of dramatic art is to entertain audiences.
Theater productions can provide a form of escapism and enjoyment for viewers, transporting them to different worlds and allowing them to experience a range of emotions.
Education: Dramatic art can also serve an educational purpose by exploring important themes, issues, and ideas.
Theater productions can challenge audiences to think critically and reflect on their own beliefs and values.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Social Commentary: Theater productions can also serve as a form of social commentary, addressing important issues and raising awareness about social and political problems.
Through drama, playwrights can provoke discussion and inspire action on important topics.
Cultural Preservation: Theater productions can also serve as a means of preserving cultural heritage and tradition.
By showcasing stories and traditions from different cultures, theater can help to promote understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives.
Personal Development: Dramatic art can also play a role in personal development by helping individuals to develop their creativity, confidence, and communication skills.
Through participation in theater productions, individuals can learn to express themselves more effectively and develop a deeper understanding of human nature.
(ii) The Sanskrit Epic Tradition
Ans (ii) The Sanskrit Epic Tradition refers to a collection of ancient epic poems written in the Sanskrit language of India. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The two most famous Sanskrit epics are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which are considered to be two of the greatest works of world literature.
The Ramayana tells the story of the prince Rama, who sets out on a quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.
The epic explores themes of duty, honor, and love, and has had a profound influence on Indian culture and religion.
The Mahabharata is a much longer epic, spanning over 100,000 verses, and tells the story of a great war between two branches of a royal family.
The epic explores themes of dharma (righteousness), karma (destiny), and the nature of the universe. It also contains the famous Bhagavad Gita, a discourse on duty and the nature of the self.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have been passed down through the oral tradition for centuries before being written down.
They have had a profound influence on Indian culture and religion, and continue to be an important part of Indian literature and philosophy today.
(iii) “Now I see no other course open but the fourth – punishment. The kings are marching to Kurukshetra to their doom!”
Ans (iii) This quote is a reference to a pivotal moment in the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata.
It is spoken by the character Krishna, who is advising the warrior prince Arjuna on the eve of a great battle between two branches of a royal family.
Arjuna is reluctant to fight against his own relatives, and is filled with doubt and despair.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Krishna, who is an incarnation of the god Vishnu, counsels Arjuna on the nature of duty and the importance of fulfilling one’s obligations.
He tells Arjuna that he must fight in the battle, not for personal gain or glory, but to uphold the principles of righteousness and justice.
The quote suggests that Krishna sees no other option but to resort to punishment in order to restore order and justice to the kingdom.
This is a central theme of the Mahabharata, which explores the nature of dharma (righteousness) and the consequences of actions.
Ultimately, the battle of Kurukshetra results in the victory of Arjuna and his allies, but at a great cost in terms of human life and suffering.
The Mahabharata serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of greed, ambition, and conflict, and underscores the importance of upholding moral principles even in the face of great adversity.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
(iv) … “And from that exalted line/ Of heavenly nymphs was Matavi descended./ A woman of flawlwss birth, of broad shoulders,/ And curly hair, spilling pollen, she was/ Noted for her style of great distinction.”
Ans (iv) This quote is a reference to a character named Matavi in the Sanskrit epic, the Ramayana. Matavi is described as being descended from a line of heavenly nymphs, which signifies her exceptional beauty and grace.
The passage emphasizes Matavi’s physical attributes, noting that she has flawless skin, broad shoulders, and curly hair that “spills pollen” (which suggests a particularly alluring and attractive quality).
Additionally, Matavi is described as having a “style of great distinction,” which implies that she is not only physically beautiful, but also carries herself with great poise and elegance.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Ramayana is a story of love, duty, and honor, and features a wide cast of characters with diverse personalities and backgrounds.
Matavi is a relatively minor character in the epic, but her description highlights the importance placed on physical beauty and grace in Indian culture.
It also underscores the idea that exceptional physical beauty can be a mark of divine ancestry, and is something to be admired and respected.
Q 1. Examine the difference between the Shakuntala in Abhijnana Shakuntala and the Shakuntala episode in the Mahabharata.
Ans. Shakuntala is a character that appears in both the Mahabharata and the play Abhijnana Shakuntala by the Indian playwright Kalidasa.
While both versions of the story feature a young woman named Shakuntala who falls in love with a king, there are significant differences between the two portrayals of the character and her story.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Shakuntala of the Mahabharata is depicted as the daughter of the sage Vishwamitra and the apsara (heavenly nymph) Menaka.
She is abandoned by her mother at birth and raised by her father in the forest, where she becomes known for her exceptional beauty and virtue.
One day, she encounters the king Dushyanta while he is on a hunting expedition, and the two fall in love and marry in a secret ceremony.
However, when Dushyanta must return to his kingdom, he gives Shakuntala a ring as a token of their love and promises to send for her when he is able.
Shakuntala is later forced to leave the ring with a sage when she is distracted and forgets about it, and when Dushyanta later encounters her again, he does not recognize her and denies their relationship.
It is only when the sage reminds him of the ring that Dushyanta remembers his love for Shakuntala and is reunited with her.
In contrast, the Shakuntala of Abhijnana Shakuntala is depicted as the daughter of the sage Kanva and an apsara named Menaka.
She is raised in the forest with a group of female ascetics and becomes known for her beauty and purity. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One day, she encounters King Dushyanta while he is on a hunting expedition, and the two fall in love and marry in a secret ceremony.
However, when Dushyanta is forced to return to his kingdom, he gives Shakuntala a signet ring as a token of their love and promises to send for her when he is able.
Shakuntala is later distracted by a bee and forgets about the ring, which leads to Dushyanta denying their relationship when she comes to his court pregnant with his child.
However, the gods intervene and restore Dushyanta’s memory, and he is ultimately reunited with Shakuntala and their son.
One of the main differences between the two versions of the story is the way in which Shakuntala is characterized. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In the Mahabharata, Shakuntala is depicted as a virtuous and beautiful young woman, but she is relatively passive in the events of the story.
She is forced to leave the ring with the sage because she is distracted and forgetful, and it is only through the intervention of the sage that she is able to be reunited with Dushyanta.
In contrast, the Shakuntala of Abhijnana Shakuntala is depicted as a more active and assertive character.
She is portrayed as being distracted by a bee because she is daydreaming about her love for Dushyanta, and she ultimately appeals to the gods to restore Dushyanta’s memory when he denies their relationship.
Another difference between the two versions of the story is the role of the gods and supernatural beings. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In the Mahabharata, the sage who helps to reunite Dushyanta and Shakuntala is depicted as having supernatural powers, but there is relatively little intervention from the gods in the story.
In contrast, Abhijnana Shakuntala features several supernatural beings, including a messenger from the gods who appears to restore Dushyanta’s memory and a group of female ascetics who have the power to make Shakuntala invisible.
Q 2. Write a critical note on the predicament of Karna in the Mahabharata.
Ans. Karna is one of the most complex and tragic characters in the Mahabharata, the Indian epic poem that tells the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
As an outsider, a low-caste charioteer’s son, Karna is caught in a predicament that shapes his life and ultimately leads to his tragic end.
Karna’s story begins with his birth, which is shrouded in secrecy and shame. His mother, Kunti, became pregnant with him before her marriage, and as a result, she abandoned him in a basket on a river, hoping that he would be found and raised by someone else. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
He was found and raised by a low-caste charioteer and his wife, and grew up to be a skilled warrior and a loyal friend.
However, despite his talent and loyalty, Karna’s low-caste background and lack of social status led to him being marginalized and discriminated against by the Kuru court.
He was mocked and insulted by his peers, who saw him as inferior due to his birth, and was denied the chance to participate in important battles and competitions.
Despite this, Karna remained steadfast in his loyalty to Duryodhana, the prince of the Kuru court who saw in Karna a valuable ally and a potential weapon against his enemies, the Pandavas.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Karna’s predicament is further complicated by his association with his adoptive father, who is accused of stealing a valuable weapon from the Pandavas.
Karna is torn between his loyalty to his father and his loyalty to Duryodhana, and ultimately chooses to stand by Duryodhana and fight against the Pandavas.
This choice leads to a tragic chain of events that culminates in Karna’s death on the battlefield.
Throughout the Mahabharata, Karna is portrayed as a complex and conflicted character, torn between his loyalty to his friend and his sense of duty and honor.
His status as an outsider and his low-caste background place him in a precarious position, where he is never fully accepted or trusted by the people around him.
Despite this, Karna remains steadfast in his loyalty and devotion, and is ultimately betrayed by those he trusts most.
Karna’s story is a powerful commentary on the nature of social status and caste in Indian society. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Despite his talents and virtues, Karna is never fully accepted or respected by those around him, due to his low-caste background.
He is forced to navigate a complex web of relationships and alliances, where his loyalty and honor are constantly tested and questioned.
His tragic end is a reminder of the injustices and prejudices that exist in society, and the toll they can take on even the most virtuous and talented individuals.
Q 3. Discuss the significance of the storm in Mrichchhkatika?
Ans. The storm that occurs in the play Mrichchhkatika, also known as The Little Clay Cart, is a pivotal moment in the plot, and has significant symbolic and thematic significance.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The storm occurs at a critical juncture in the play, when Charudatta, the play’s protagonist, is facing ruin and disgrace.
Charudatta is a wealthy merchant who has fallen on hard times due to a series of unfortunate events, including a false accusation of theft and a series of financial setbacks.
He is now at the mercy of his creditors and is facing the prospect of losing his home and his livelihood.
The storm serves as a turning point in Charudatta’s fortunes, and marks the beginning of his redemption.
It is a moment of intense drama and tension, as the storm threatens to destroy everything in its path, including Charudatta’s home and his reputation.
However, the storm also brings unexpected salvation, in the form of Vasantasena, a courtesan who seeks refuge in Charudatta’s home during the storm.
The storm serves as a symbol of the chaos and upheaval that Charudatta is experiencing in his life. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
It is a powerful force that threatens to uproot everything he holds dear, and forces him to confront the fragility of his position in society.
However, the storm also represents a moment of renewal and transformation, as it clears the way for a new beginning and a new chance at happiness.
The arrival of Vasantasena during the storm is also significant, as it marks the beginning of a new relationship between her and Charudatta.
Vasantasena is a courtesan, and her arrival in Charudatta’s home is a scandalous event that threatens to ruin his reputation even further.
However, Charudatta sees past her social status and recognizes her as a person of worth and dignity. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Their relationship serves as a symbol of the possibility of love and redemption, even in the midst of social upheaval and chaos.
The storm also has broader thematic significance, as it serves as a commentary on the transience and impermanence of life.
The storm is a force of nature that is beyond human control, and it serves as a reminder of the fragility of human existence.
It is a moment of intense drama and tension, but it also serves as a reminder that life is unpredictable and can change in an instant.
Q 4. Write a detailed note on the idea of justice in Cilappatikaran.
Ans. Cilappatikaran, also known as Silappadikaram, is a Tamil epic poem from the 2nd century CE that explores the theme of justice in great detail.
The poem is considered one of the masterpieces of Tamil literature, and it provides a nuanced exploration of the concept of justice that is still relevant today.
The central character of Cilappatikaran is Kovalan, a wealthy merchant who falls in love with a courtesan named Madhavi.
Kovalan abandons his wife Kannagi and his family to be with Madhavi, but eventually realizes his mistake and returns to Kannagi.
However, Kovalan is accused of stealing the queen’s anklet and is executed without a fair trial.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The theme of justice is central to the plot of Cilappatikaran, as Kovalan’s execution is a clear example of injustice.
The poem explores the question of what constitutes justice, and whether justice can be achieved in a flawed and corrupt society.
One of the key ideas that Cilappatikaran explores is the idea of dharma, or righteous conduct.
The poem suggests that justice can only be achieved when people act in accordance with dharma, and that the failure to do so will inevitably lead to chaos and injustice.
Kovalan’s decision to abandon his wife and family is a clear violation of dharma, and it ultimately leads to his downfall.BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The poem also explores the idea of karma, or the consequences of one’s actions. Kovalan’s decision to abandon his wife and family sets in motion a chain of events that leads to his execution, and the poem suggests that this is a result of his own karma.
However, the poem also suggests that Kovalan’s execution is a result of larger societal forces, such as corruption and political intrigue.
Another important idea that Cilappatikaran explores is the idea of compassion and forgiveness. Kannagi, Kovalan’s wife, is a powerful symbol of compassion and forgiveness in the poem.
Despite Kovalan’s betrayal, Kannagi remains devoted to him and seeks to clear his name. BEGC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
She ultimately holds the corrupt king and his advisors accountable for their actions, but she does so in a way that is guided by compassion and a desire for justice.
The poem also explores the idea of the rule of law, and the importance of a fair and impartial judicial system.
Kovalan’s execution is a clear example of the failure of the judicial system in the poem, as he is executed without a fair trial or the opportunity to defend himself.
The poem suggests that justice can only be achieved when the rule of law is upheld, and when people are held accountable for their actions.
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