Girish Karnad’s play Hayavadana has various cultural implications, which are relevant even today. A Man’s search for his own self among a web of complex. In this relation, Girish Karnad comments in the Introduction to Three Plays: Nagamandala, Hayavadana, Tughlaq: My generation was the first to come of age . EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN IN GIRISH KARNAD’S HAYAVADANA DR. TARUNA ANAND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AMITY UNIVERSITY DELHI INDIA.
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Karnad very dexterously pictures the condition of a typical Indian female, ruled by the patriarchal order bounded by tradition, but whose spirit remains unbounded. His employment of the myth and old tales are to focus on the absurdity of modern life with all its conflicts. My generation was the first to come of age after India became independent of British rule. It therefore had to face a situation in which tensions implicit until then had come out in the open and demanded to be resolved without apologia or self-justifications, tensions between the cultural past of the country and its colonial past, between the attractions of western modes of thought and our own traditions, and finally between the various visions of the future that opened up once that common cause of political freedom was achieved.
This is the historical context that gave rise to my plays and those of my contemporaries. Thus it is important to note that the conflict in the play of Karnad is not of traditional as between the good and the evil but it is related to the behavioral changes in the modern man and woman. So, the plot of Hayavadana is hayavadnaa to the conflict between the complete and the incomplete. The irony reaches its climax when the character, Hayavadana pursuits for completeness, but he becomes a complete horse.
Now he wants to get rid of human voice. In order to do so, he sings patriotic songs. The scene is highly comic, as well as ironic. This can be seen as a hint towards the absurdity of human life.
Birish Karnad is influenced by the mythology. The practice of going back to mythology is not totally new in the Indian English drama. Girish Karnad comments on an idea about the usage of folklore in relevance to modern situation as The tale from Vetala Panchvimshati had been used by Mann to address the question.
These words reveal that Girish Karnad has fused myth and folktale with his own idea to create his plot. He is a playwright whose play offers together a mythical or folktale and separate problems of modern man. In other words Girish Karnad is fascinated with the rich Indian folk and mythic lore and draws from it the material for his plays.
His plot and structure derive from the myth, folk tradition to present psyche and problems of modern man or woman. The major female character is Oarnad. She is the person around whom the whole play revolves.
Karnad has conveyed through this character a transparent sensibility aspiring for a man who is an incarnation of perfection. Padmini is depicted as a very beautiful woman. At the first sight Devadatta is attracted to her.
Kapila in one appearance, She became my guru in the girush. She is not for the likes of you. What she needs is a man of steel. She is aware of her duties towards her husband. The mere fact that she expresses this desire after she is married is a modern thought propagated by Karnad as it would be seen as something preposterous for a woman to express such a desire once she is wedded and her subjective self is not to be given importance then.
Padmini is seen to have what is called the Dionysian ego. When Girih loses his strength, she decides to go see Kapila in the jungle. What she wants to own is a sense of possessing a man who is proficient and attractive.
Consequently she karjad everything as Devadatta and Kapila die. This Dionysian ego which is dominant in Padmini is represented as something that feeds on her body and soul whose image when shattered kills her. Padmini emerges to have shades of hypocrisy too. When she sees Yb changing, she feels that Kapila must be changing.
Very soon she realizes that Devadatta is losing that manly and virile body. Giving him the excuse of broken dolls, she sends Devadatta to Ujjain to purchase new ones. She then goes to see Kapila in the jungle all alone, facing all the dangers.
She tells Kapila that she is there just for few minutes, but then stays for few days and invites bad luck. Devadatta follows Padmini and comes to jungle. He is angry at first but turns steel and calm. Devadatta asks him if he loves Padmini. But Devadatta tells him that it is not possible. Finally Devadatta gives him the solution.
Both of them decide to die and after a battle between the two, they perish. Padmini is also unable to find a way out of the trauma as she knows that she is the ultimate reason behind this tragic end. Padmini, as her name suggests likes a lotus.
She is torn between two polarities which could be related to the lotus having its root deep under the water and its flower blooming out to the world above.
It is almost like both these parts that never get to see what each other witnesses long for that vision which is what happens with Padmini here.
The existential space of the individual always remains in a flux thus making it difficult to interpret and locate the actual position of the individual in society. But, the gender constructs of the patriarchal society prevents her from fulfilling her desire. Since she belongs to a higher class and because of being married to a Brahmin Padmini cannot commit adultery by indulging in physical relationship with Kapila, a Sudra.
Padmini and her husband Devadatta share the same cultural background. But, unlike Sharmishtha Padmini fails to transcend the boundaries of class, culture and gender to achieve her goals. Karnad hints at a bold issue of extramarital affair, which could be observed in Naga-Mandala as well, where the female tries to transcend the patriarchal gender construct of an ideal wife to attain her sexual fulfilment. While talking on this matter P. Padmini does not publicly admit her love for Kapila because she is aware of the socio-cultural restrictions which prohibit a married woman from developing extramarital relationship which would otherwise have been taken as a breach of social condition and violation of marriage institution.
Moreover, Kapila is a Sudra, a lower caste person and inter-caste marriage would not have been approved and accepted.
Hayavadana Summary from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
The problem remains the same even after the exchange of the heads. The conflict between Devadatta and Kapila is the conflict between the centre and the margin.
Padmini, on the other hayavadanz, becomes a marginalized self in spite of belonging to the privileged class and thus gets located in the marginal space that is created within the centre.
In Hayavadana, the interplay of various class and culture paradigms reveal the displacement of the individual from centre to the margin. Through this play Karnad makes a bold attempt in questioning the authority of the traditional class and culture discourses and the compatibility of the gender constructs of the patriarchal Indian society.
The head governs the body and the head is governed by the culture and tradition that are related to the respective classes.
Thus, both culture orientations and patriarchal gender constructs stop Padmini hhayavadana transcending her class barriers and fulfil her desire. Igrish text is forbidden on this website. You can get this essay on your email. Hayavadana by Girish Karnad. Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. Hayavadana by Girish Karnad The plays of Girish Karnad often have a thematic focus on the basic issues that concern the existential problem of an individual in the postcolonial modern Indian society.
Nimsarkar writes, Padmini does not publicly admit her love for Kapila because she is aware of the socio-cultural restrictions which prohibit a married woman from developing extramarital relationship which would otherwise have been taken as a breach of social condition and violation of marriage institution. Summary of Hayavadana Gender Trouble Chapter 1. Applying Literary Criticism Hamlet Quotations. You can get this essay on your email Topic: We’ll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
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