Mahabharata Question and answer
Q.1. Discuss Mahabaharata as an epic.
Ans. Though there is some dispute among critics regarding the fact whether Mahabharata is an epic or it is history, usually it is considered as an epic.
One of the foremost characteristics of an epic is the depiction of war. The depiction of war is necessary because it shows the heroic tradition of an ancient society. Throughout book II of the text there is no large scale war though it does show the conquest of many countries and kingdoms by the four Pandavas. In this conquest we found that the Pandavas fought their enemies valiantly. More importantly we find that the battle between Bhima and Jarasandha in which Jarasandha is killed is not fought very honestly.
The trio – Krishna, Bhima and Arjuna enters the kingdom in disguise. However, Bhima uses no unfair means to defeat Jarasandha. Other than the minor skirmish between Krishna and Sisupala there are no major battles fought. Now, if there is war there will be boasts as well. For example – in the dicing episode, , Bhima makes certain boasts about as to how he will kill Duryodhana and Dussasana. Bhima says that he will kill Dussasana and drink his blood. He also says that he will break the thighs of Duryodhana.
In an epic not only are wars depicted but it is portrayed in a large scale. Not only is a war shown in a large scale but also every other aspects of description. In Mahabharata we not only find that the wars shown in Book II are to be grand but also the other aspects of the society
. For example – Rajasuyya Yajna, the palace built by the demon Maya and even the cloths and armours of the warriors.
The Mahabharata can be considered entirely to be a political document. The entire book II is filled with political intrigues. While Krishna intrigues with Pandavas to kill Jarasandha, Duryodhana intrigues with Shakuni to bring the downfall of the Pandavas. We have seen from the very beginning that the Kauravas were plotting against the Pandavas.
Like any other epic we find Mahabharata to be full of digressions. For example – the story of Jarasandha’s birth or the story of Maya are not directly relevant to the plot of the epic.
In mahabharata we find the interference of gods and demons in the activities of the humans. For example – Krishna provided cloths to Draupadi when her honour was at stake. Similarly it was the demon Jara who saved Jarasandha.
The length of Mahabharata is huge but book II itself is not that big. However, the book II also consists of approximately 2,387 verses (according to Vivek Debroy in his book The Mahabharata, 2011) talking about verses almost all scholars tell us that Mahabharata was originally written as a poem. Since we are dealing with the second book we do not find any invocation to the god or the muses. Yet in the dicing scene we find Draupadi invoking the help of Krishna.
The reason as to why Mahablicrata is often known as a history or Itihasan is because it tries to give us the true picture of the contemporary society. We find in the verses of the second book the following things – the correct way to rule a kingdom by king ( as told by Narada), we learn about the procedure to become an emperor (by Rajasuya Yajna), we come to know about the condition of women in the society (through Draupadi). It is amazing to note that in Mahabharata no one is idealized. All the characters come to us as humans with their mistakes and failures. In this scene it is neither epic nor history, because in both, the heroes and the rulers are always idealized.
Thus, from the above discussion it becomes clear that Mahabharata has a number of features that qualifies it as an epic but it also has certain qualities that make it unique……
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INDIAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE
THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-10
THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-05
ILANGO ADIGAL :
THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-02
THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-05
EUROPEAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE
HOMER : THE ILIAD MARKS-10
SOPHOCLES : OEDIPUS THE KING MARKS-10
OVID : METAMORPHOSIS BOOK-III , BOOK-IV, BOOK-VI— MARKS- 02, 05 & 10
PLAUTUS : THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-02
THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-05
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Mahabaharata Question and answer Mahabaharata Question and answer Mahabaharata Question and answer