The Role Of Women In The Ramayana And The Mahabharata

1174 Words 5 Pages
ABSTRACT

Epics always fascinate and attract both readers and writers. Various and various interpretations of the epics are prominent in the literary world. With the rise of different psycho analytic theories, feminist theories, cultural theories etc, writers began to explicate and refurbish the various epic characters. This brought about new and new retellings of the epics. The Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata always allured the writers because of the complex characters and the various issues discussed in these epics. These peculiarities gave rise to fresh interpretations of the epic stories and characters. Among the two epics, the Mahabharata is one in which we meet many strong women characters. This specialty of the epic equipped the writers to retell the epic using various feminist theories. Usually epic narratives presented women on an idealistic viewpoint. Women are presented as epitomes of patience and tolerance, as the silent sufferers of all the miseries that fall upon them. But the contemporary women writers contributed much to bring about a change in such a perspective. They
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Divakaruni makes Panchaali tell her story herself revealing all her joys and doubts, her struggles and her triumphs, her heart breaks, her sorrows, her achievements and the unique ways in which she sees the world and her place in it. Thus Divakaruni’s narration becomes a gendered re-telling which tries to look at the epic through the eyes of Panchaali. Divakaruni clearly states her aim in the author’s note to the novel, “If I ever write a book, I remember thinking…. I would place the women in forefront of the action …. And who would be better suited for this than Panchaali?” (The Palace of Illusions, Author’s note

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