BEGC 101 Solved Assignment 2022 23

Write short notes/ answer with reference to the context in about 100 words each:

1. (i) The purpose of Dramatic Art

Answer :-  The Purpose of Dramatic arts tell stories on stage through action. The dramatic arts are one type of performing art, which also includes acting, pantomime, and puppetry. Each performing art has distinct attributes that determine how it tells a story. Because Music is often included as a performing art. The audience is an important feature for the performing arts: all performances are presented in front of an audience. Another important feature is that, unlike film and television, dramatic arts are performed live. Typically, dramatic arts are performed in a building called a theatre that has a stage space for the performance and seats for the audience, called the house or auditorium. The word theatre derives from the ancient Greek name for this space, theatron, which means “seeing place.” The most common dramatic art form is theatre or drama. In theatre, actors play characters and act out the story for an audience. This is a primary distinction between dramatic arts and performing arts. In dramatic arts, the story is represented on stage.

Ancient Greece is believed to be the origin of Western dramatic arts. Thespis is said to be the first actor. Before Thespis, narratives were chanted by a chorus. Thespis stepped out of the chorus and represented a character. Beginning in 534 BCE, the Ancient Greeks held annual drama competitions. Many well-known classical playwrights competed at these competitions, including Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. These playwrights are the authors of the only classical Greek plays that are still around. Beyond famous plays like Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (c. 430-425), each playwright made major contributions to the dramatic form. For instance, Aeschylus added a second actor, which turned drama from a monologue into a dialogue between two characters. The Ancient Greeks performed in masks made of linen or cork.

After the Ancient Greeks, theatre flourished in Rome. It was a popular form of entertainment, along with gladiator fights, chariot races, and animal fights. Two well-known playwrights from this period are Terence and Plautus who went on to directly inspire playwrights for over a thousand years. The Catholic church grew concerned about theatre, primarily because theatre was associated with paganism and often mocked Christianity in its comedies. By the time Rome was captured in the 5th century CE, theatre and the dramatic arts had fallen out of favor.

Types of Drama
In The Poetics (c. 335-323 BCE), the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BCE) identified six elements of drama that are still applicable today. The six elements are:


Plot is the action of a narrative. The plot is a sequence of events that propel the story forward. In his book Backward and Forward, David Ball argues that plot is like a series of dominos, in which one domino falling over will trigger the next event, which will then trigger the subsequent event in a story. Plots begin with an inciting incident; an event that disrupts the status quo of the world of the play. Then the action rises toward a climax, the most heightened moment of the plot. The climax is typically the moment of change for the characters. This is followed by falling action, moving the plot to a new status quo.

Character is the person depicted in the drama and acted out by a performer. The main character is known as the protagonist. This role drives the action of the play. Though many might imagine the antagonist to be the villain, it’s actually a character who competes with the protagonist. Often, the protagonist and antagonist share a common objective, which places them in conflict with one another.

Theme is the central thought of the play. Some plays may argue a principle, raise a question, or try to teach the audience a specific lesson. In the dramatic arts, there is often more than one theme in a play, but the main theme is the central message the playwright wants the audience to keep with them.

Language is often how the theme is conveyed. In studying language, one might consider the word usages, metaphors, and other stylistic choices in the dialogue. In theatre, language is also used to differentiate characters. In A Street Car Named Desire (1947) by Tennessee Williams, the characters of Stanley and Blanche come from different backgrounds. This is apparent in how each character speaks from their use of slang, dialects, and even their accents.

Aristotle viewed music and spectacle as the least important features of a drama. Music refers to the use of song in a performance and spectacle refers to the visual effects. Spectacle can also include the setting, which refers to where the place takes place and the visual elements that communicate it. While Aristotle believed these elements were superfluous to a good drama, they have gained prominence as storytelling techniques in the 19th and 20th centuries in melodramas and musical theatre.

    (ii) The Sanskrit Epic Tradition

Answer :- The Sanskrit Epic Tradition suggests, my aim is to examine the way in which certain myths which first appear (as far as India is concerned) in the Vedas, and more specifically in the Rgveda, are retold in the Sanskrit Epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and to examine in what way the Epics re-use the mythological material earlier used in the Vedas. Before proceeding any further, I shall first give a brief summary of the nature, contents and dates of the texts mentioned above. The texts The oldest stratum of Sanskrit literature is called the Veda, a term which (originally at least) was roughly synonymous with mantra or brahman and meant ‘sacred utterance’. The Veda is also called the sruti ‘that which has been. heard’, or the ‘revelation’, and is, according to the later Indian tradition — especially according to the Mimamsa, a school of Vedic exegesis —— eternal and authorless, and was a‘revea1ed’ to the Vedic rsis or seers. The Veda is divided into several layers of texts: first come the Samhitas or ‘collections’.

There are four Samhitas: the oldest is the Rgveda Samhita, or the ‘collection of verses’, (dated circa 1500-1000 B.C.E.), composed in ten mandalas or books. Out of these, the tenth mandala is usually considered to be younger than the rest of the collection. The Rgveda consists of hymns attributed to certain families of seers, mainly containing prayers and praise addressed to different gods. In these hymns, the poets frequently mention and describe the mythical deeds of these gods, The Rgveda Samhita is thus of paramount importance for our study. The Samaveda Samhita, or the ‘collection of melodies’, mainly consists of verses taken over from the Rgveda. But the Samaveda adds musical annotations to these verses, which were meant for the use of the udgatr-priest who had to sing these parts in the ritual. The Yajurveda Samhita, or the ‘collection of sacrificial formulae’, whose oldest text goes back to about 800 B.C.E., is not unitary, unlike the other collections. It is first subdivided into ‘white’ (sukla) and ‘black’ (krsna) Yajurveda, and consists of five texts, namely; the Vajasaneyi Samhita belonging to the White Yajurveda; and the Katha (or Kathaka) Samhita, the Kapisthala Katha Samhita, the Maitrayani Samhita and the Taittiriya Samhita belonging to the Black Yajurveda. Although these five Samhita are said to be recensions (sakhas), they are too different to go back to a single, original Ur-Yajurveda, or at least to allow such a text to be reconstructed. The Yajurveda Samhita, as its name shows, is mainly concerned with the sacrificial ritual. 

The remaining Vedic texts are necessarily attached to one of the four Samhitas. We can distinguish several different groups of texts, which were roughly composed in the following) chronological order, though there are some overlaps: the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, the Upanisads and the Vedangas. The Brahmanas are prose compositions mainly dealing with the sacrifice, composed for the Brahmins. By their subject-matter, they continue the line of the Yajurveda Samhita. They give precise descriptions and explanations of the sacrificial ritual, but also contain dogmatic commentaries, philosophical speculations, and are a real treasure—trove of legends and myths, a point which makes them highly relevant for our study.

The Aranyakas derive their name from the term aranya, ‘forest’. They probably received this appellation due to the fact that, as secret texts, they had to be studied in the wilderness. They give the ritual a mystical—allegorical interpretation leading to meta-ritualistic ideas. The Upanisads mark a break in the Vedic literature. While retaining a connection with the sacrifice, they are also philosophical texts, recording, for instance, the emergence of the theory of samsara (cyclical reincarnation), the identification of atman and brahman, etc. Finally, the Vedangas, or auxiliary texts of the Veda, contain treatises on the ritual, phonetics, grammar, etymology, metrics and astronomy. They are all composed in the very terse sutra-style. Of these, only the auxiliary texts concerning the ritual, or Kalpasutras (subdivided into srautasutras, concerning the solemn ritual, and grhyasutras, concerning the domestic ritual) are of some limited relevance for us. In the course of this study, and mainly for the sake of convenience, we shall principally distinguish between the Rgveda Samhita, due to its greater antiquity, and the rest of the Vedic texts, which will be grouped together under the denomination of ‘the later Veda’. As for the two Sanskrit Epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, let us first note that although we distinguish them by the appellation ‘Epics’, the Indian tradition itself does not generally consider that they belong to the same literary genre.

   (iii) “Now I see no other course open but the fourth – punishment. The kings are marching to Kurukshetra to their doom!”

   (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.”

Section B 

Answer the following in about 300 words each:

1. Examine the difference between the Shakuntala in Abhijnana Shakuntala and the Shakuntala episode in the Mahabharata

Answer :- Although the great heroine Shakuntala has become a part of popular imagination because of the play by Kalidasa, the great Sanskrit dramatist, the original story of this distinguished lady occurs in the Mahabharata from which Kalidasa took his inspiration. The Mahabharata story is slightly different from Kalidasa’s version. The primary thrust in the Mahabharata is to teach us the nuances of dharma through the poignant love story of Shakuntala and king Dushyanta.

Dushyanta was a powerful and virtuous king. Once, while he was out hunting in the forests, he came across a picturesque hermitage which was as peaceful as it was beautiful. There he saw numerous saints engaged in various Vedic activities like performing yajnas and the teaching and chanting of Vedas. He came to know that the hermitage belonged to the great saint named Kanva. Wanting to pay his obeisance to the sage, he went over to his hut and called out from outside, “Is anybody there?”. In answer to his call, there emerged from inside a maiden, who was dressed like an ascetic and was as beautiful as goddess Lakshmi herself. As soon as she saw that it was a guest, she welcomed him and gave him a seat, presenting him with water. She thus honoured him in appropriate ways and then smilingly asked him the purpose of his visit. The king informed her that he had come to pay respects to the illustrious sage Kanva. Shakuntala replied that he was her father and had gone out to collect fruits. She asked him to wait a while for his return.

Observing her sophistication and grace, the king could not help noticing that she was a dazzling maiden with a charming smile and a well proportioned physical form. Her attractiveness was defined as much by her youthful physical beauty as it was by her evident austere life and humility. 

2. Write a critical note on the predicament of Karna in the Mahabharata.

Answer :- The epic of Mahabharata, which was written in the remotest past of ancient India, is much more than a mere account of a battle between two branches of family. Rather it is a storehouse of moral, ethical and life-changing lessons that can elevate a man’s life from the position of chaos to cosmos. It stands as a pole star to humanity which guides and motivates mankind to choose the path of righteousness and to give up the side of evil and lawlessness. No other epic in the world is as bulky as The Mahabharata. It is eight times longer than Homer’s Illiad and Odessey, four times than Valmiki’s Ramayana and three times than The Bible. The Mahabharata bears the stamp of rich cultural heritage as well as the undying and golden history of ancient India. It is the story of bravery and indomitable courage.

Though The Mahabharata was written in the ancient India, it is still relevant in the present era. The story of Mahabharata has always been imparting valuable lessons- it teaches humanity the lessons of morality, ethics, righteousness and the lesson of life, by following which one can attain the ultimate goal of human life. This  epic renders valuable suggestions to those who are seeking moral guidance or facing ethical dilemmas.


Maharathi Karna was the most tragic and unfortunate character of The Mahabharata and at the same time, he was the most powerful of all. He was even stronger than Arjuna because Arjuna could not have vanquished him without the aid of LordKrishna and the divine deity Indra. Karna was the son of Surya and the unmarried teenage Kunti for which the latter, out of shame abandoned him. Karna was adopted and raised by the foster suta parents named Radha and Adhiratha due to which he was named as ‘Sutaputra’. His other names were Vasusena, Anga-Raja, and Radheya. Karna had all the qualities of Pandavas. The qualities that were distributed among the five Pandavas were possessed by him. He was intelligent, a great archer, powerful, a man of moral values as well as handsome.

Throughout his life, Karna got nothing but utter humiliation and insults. Everyone cast scornful eye on him due to his low descent. Karna never got an oppurtunity to prove himself as the best. Even Draupadi did not allow him to participate in her ‘Swayambar’ and insulted him in front of all. The character of Karna can be interpreted from many perspectives. He was brought up and grown up in the lineage of sutas hence he got the name ‘suta-putra’. This very idea evokes the concept of casteism that was privileged during that time of ancient India. The sutas belong to the lowest strata of society who lives at the margin of society and are humiliated and subjugated by the higher caste or the people from royal family. Thousand times Karna received disgrace in the name of caste. Guru Dronacharya refused to give him the knowledge of warfare because of his caste; Draupadi refused to marry him and prevented him from taking participation in her swayambar just because he was a suta. Thus, it is clear that the caste system, which has been playing a vital role in Indian society as a means of social stratification, is not the product of modern India rather the very seed of casteism had been sown in the ancient India and Karna was the worst victim of caste system.

Karna’s character can also be viewed from the post-colonial perspective of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s ‘subalternism’. A subaltern is a person from ‘an inferior rank’ living at the edge of society. Karna, though in reality was born in the lineage of royal family, was known as suta-putra to the external world because of his suta parentage. Throughout his life, Karna was never given due respect because everyone regarded him as a person from an inferior rank. Everyone refused and rejected him due to his low origin.

3. Discuss the significance of the storm in Mrichchhkatika?

4. Write a detailed note on the idea of justice in Cilappatikaran.

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