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  • Topic: Girish Karnad, Cinema of India, Mask
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  • Published : March 18, 2013
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CHAPTER IV
Style technique in girish karnad's “hayavadana”
If style maketh the man, it follows from the proverbial dictum that from one's style the person behind it can be deciphered. However with the case of Girish Karnad, though we comprehend a style, it is a style that cannot be compartmentalized. Being a versatile genius, his style and theme varies. InYayati , we find a story from the Mahabharata fused with Western form. In Tughlaq a theme from History mingled with Parsi theatre. InNagamandala, an oral fable mingled with domestic reality and in Hayavadana the myth from Kathasarithasagara is utilized to echo a universal issue. Regarding Hayavadana, Girish Karnad himself says in the introduction to his Three Plays-, the answer given in the Kathasarithasagarais- since the head represents the person, the person with the husband's head is actually the husband ."Mann brings his relentless logic to bear upon this solution-if the head is the determining limb then the body should represent change to fit its head." The story primarily fascinated Karnad for the scope it gave to masks and theatre. Western theatre generally distinguished between the face and the mask. They were the means to present to the world, the real inner person and the exterior .Karnad tells us that in traditional Indian Theatre, the mask is not only the face writ large since the character represents not a psychological entity but an ethical archetype. The mask therefore points in enlarged detail to its moral nature. And this is why in Hayavadana , the characters have no real names. The heroine is called Padmini after one of the six categories into which Vatsyayana classified all women. Her husband is Devadutta (meaning a formal mode of addressing a stranger) and Kapila is simply the 'dark one'. The author's scope for character-detailing is therefore limited in the Main story. But they make up for the limitation by operating as powerful metaphors. Devadutta stands for the head (we address the...
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