MRICHHAKATIKA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS MARKS 10
Q.1. Comment on the title of the play Mrichhkatika? MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS 10
Ans. The title of any work of literary art acts like an early hint to the work. The title often acts like the signpost for an area which gives us things to expect from it. The more associated the theme and the title is, the more will the title be considered better but contrastive titles are no less attractive either.
The literal meaning of the title ‘Mrichhkatika’is ‘the little clay cart.’ Generally a play is named after the hero or the heroine in Sanskrit plays. This however is true with Shakespearean plays as well, especially in the case of the tragedies. His comedies however, weren’t named after the male/female protagonist other than Cymbeline (1623). Often a title is based upon the central theme of the play. However, these general conventions are not followed in the naming of the play.
The incident which provides the play’s title occurs in the beginning of Act VI, i.e. in the middle of the play. Initially, it might seem as an insignificant event but undoubtedly, it is the central incident of the play. It is noteworthy to say that the title of the play is ironic. The very first word of the title is ‘mrit’ that means ‘clay’. But the story of the play revolves around the golden ornaments. For a very short time, Charudutta’s little son, Rohasena is shown with a clay cart. Here Rohasena’s desire for a golden cart becomes helpful in the development of the plot. However, the importance of the clay cart cannot be refuted and will be explained in the following paragraphs.
In Act VI, Rohasena, is not satisfied with an earthen toy-cart. He wants a golden toy-cart which he used to play previously with. Radhanika clarifies the issue in Act VI, Radanika : “He used to play with a gold cart that belongs to the son of a neighbour. But that was taken away, and when he asked for it, I made him this little clay cart. But when I gave it to him, he said “I don’t like this little clay cart, Radanika. Give me my gold cart.”” (Act VI)
He wants his golden cart. Vasantasena gives him her ornaments by filing the cart to the brim. The title originates from this incident. Here, the noteworthy point is that the ornaments are the same that were given to Charudutta for safe-keeping in Act I. Her purpose was to continue the acquaintance with him. In Act II, Sharvilaka stole those ornaments. In Act IV, the same ornaments are returned to Vasantasena by him.
The union of Vasantasena and Charudutta becomes possible because of the ornaments. It also proves helpful in revealing the noble character of the hero and the heroine in the play. In the first half of the play, the ornaments seem blessed for the main characters. On the other hand, in the latter half of the play, these ornaments prove unfortunate for Charudutta as he is sent to the gallows. Thus, in the development of the whole play, the ornaments prove to be an ironical tool that presents both fortunate and unfortunate aspects of human life. The earthen toy-cart links these opposite states in the play.
Further, the final complication of the play arises out of the mixing up of the carts. The title thus includes a hint of the mixing of the carts. Perhaps we can comment that the ‘Little Clay Cart’ was a prelude to the actual carts. Moreover, Rohasena was crying because he was missing his golden cart and Vasantasena had to cry at the hands of Sanathanaka because she had missed the cart meant for her. Yet if Aryaka hadn’t boarded Vardhamanaka’s cart then perhaps Ujjayani’s woes under an evil king might have never been over. Though the carts are ‘reaľ carts they do reverberate the clay cart.
There could be a yet religio-philosophic bend to the title. The title might refer to our own existential crises of identities. We are as brittle as little clay carts. In Hindu philosophy the body is often known to be made of clay. We are just vessels of the ‘atman’ and as useless without it. Our dreams also share a same fate. They are fragile like the clay carts. Charudutta’s dream of uniting with Vasantasena almost flounders. Vasantasena almost dies.
Thus one could say that the title of the play is appropriate because in subtle ways the same reflects upon the many issues of the play. Besides its short and rings a musical charm.
Q.2. Comment upon the character of Charudutta.
Ans. The characters of the play are living men and women. Even when the type makes no strong appeal to western minds, as in the case of Charudutta, the character lives, in a sense in which Dushyanta or even Rama can hardly be said to live. Shudraka’s men are better individualized than his women; this fact alone differentiates him sharply from other Indian dramatists. He draws on every class of society, from the high-souled Brahman to the executioner and the housemaid.
Dr. Ryder rightly remarks, “Mrichhakatikam displays admirably three characteristic of its author, his variety, his skill in drawing to characters and his humour.” Sudraka was well versed in the art of characterization. Here he has given all sorts of characters, high and low and they are undoubtedly living men and women. They represent different walks of life. They belonged to different classes and profession of the society. The real interest of this poetic drama lives in its very varied world of characters. There is a wide range of characters such as the Brahmin hero like Charudutta, Vodusaka like Maitreya, villain like Sansthanaka and a revolutionary like Aryaka and Sharvilaka…..
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INDIAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE
- MAHABHARATA MARKS-10
- THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-10
- THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-05
- MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-02
- MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-05
- MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-10
- KADAMBARI MARKS-10
- ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-02
- ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-05
- ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-10
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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MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS 10