Women’s Town—Ghost Town
A Picture of a Dying City in the Raghuvaṃśa
Keywords:Raghuvaṃśa, kāvya, female protagonist, Śrī, Ayodhyā
The following article analyses the passage of Kālidāsa’s Raghuvaṃśa 16.4–24. The focus is on the image of a dying city—how it is portrayed and what makes Kālidāsa’s depiction so distinctive. The author’s main interest is in the role of the female characters in the description: who they are, why they and their activities are chosen to serve as a mirror reflecting the city condition. The importance of Śrī and her connection to female citizens and the city itself is analysed. Also the relation of “ masculinity” and “femininity” and the role it plays in the process of deconstructing/reconstructing the city and the reality is analysed. Next, the article briefly deals with the relation between the real and unreal in the text, how they interplay and what the role of narrating the story and retelling the reality for the above-mentioned process of city deconstruction/reconstruction is. The Sanskrit text translation is given in the appendix.
Bonisoli Alquatti, A. 2005. The sixteenth sarga of Kālidāsa’s Raghuvaṃśa. In: Cracow Indological Studies 07: 81–103.
Derrett, M. and J. Duncan. 1959. Bhūbharaṇa, bhūpālana, bhūbhojana: An Indian Conundrum. In: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. V. 22. Vol. 1/3: 108–123.
Dharwadker, V. (ed.). 2004. The Collected Essays of A.K. Ramanujan. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Ghosh, M. 1950. The Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata Muni. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society.
Gonda, J. 1957. Ancient Indian Kingship from the Religious Point of View. In: Numen, Vol. 4. No 1: 127–164.
Hara, M. 1997. Śrī—Mistress of a King. In: Orientalia Suecana. Vol. XLV–XLVI (1996–1997): 33–61.
Johnston, E. H. (ed.). 1992. Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
Kale, M. 1922. The Raghuvamśa of Kalidasa. Bombay: Gopal Narayen & Co.
Kaul, Sh. 2010. Imagining the Urban. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.
Redfield, R. and M. B. Singer. 1954. The Cultural Role of Cities. In: Economic Development and Cultural Change 3(1): 53–73.
Sudyka, L. 2010. Vijayanagara City as Described in the Madhurāvijaya and Acyutarāyābhudaya. In: D. Stasik and A. Trynkowska (eds). The City and the Forest in Indian Literature and Arts. Warsaw: Dom Wydawniczy Elipsa: 98–113.
Suru, N. G. (ed.). 1975. Gauḍavaho by Vākpatirāja. Prakrit Text Society Series No. 18. Poona: Aryabushan Press.
Velankar, H. D. (ed.). 1948. Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa. Bombay: Nagar Sagar Press.
Warder, A. K. 1974. Indian Kāvya Literature. Delhi–Varanasi–Patna: Motilal Banarsidass.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.