The Navarasa and Shakespeare

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Navarasas
The Navarasas are the human emotions in everyday life. They are extensively depicted in Kalidasa’s plays and also profusely used in all Indian dance-forms. Though the nine rasas are mainly used in Indian literature, they can also been seen in English literature. The Navarasas are, Shringara – love and beauty, Haasya – joy or mirth, Bibhatsya – disgust, Rowdra – anger, Shanta – peace, Veera – courage, Bhaya – fear, Karuna – grief and Adbhuta – wonder and curiosity. Shakespeare, being known for his remarkable portrayal of characters, has, in his plays, the perfect depiction of the Navarasas. His characters are alive, and their emotions are almost tangible. An example for Shringara, the rasa illustrating love or beauty, would be in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Shringara in its essence is the love that is felt when one finds something exquisitely beautiful. When Romeo sees Juliet, he falls head over heels in love with her and says, ...“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!

For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.”
Haasya, joy and mirth, portrays the character of Puck from ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Its used to depict amusement and lightheartedness. Puck is a mischievous fairy, and enjoys playing pranks and creating a joyful chaos in the human and the fairy world. He says, ...“I am that merry wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon, and make him smile When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Neighing in likeness of a filly foal;” Disgust, or Bibhatsya, is very well described in ‘Macbeth’, when the protagonist Macbeth is sickened with himself after all the horrible things he has done at his wife’s command. Bibhatsya is evoked by something that is beneath human dignity something sickening. Like the feeling of throwing up after something has revolted the being. Macbeth in this case, is horrified at his action and guilt haunts him immensely. He is naturally a character who is frank and generous, but the ambition of his wife, ruins him...
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