Devasmita and the nun, two characters in Somadeva’s “The Red Lotus of Chastity”, employ the same concept from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Both Devasmita and the nun attempt to follow Machiavelli’s concept of being a lion and fox. However, only Devasmita succeeds in being both animals while the nun is merely a power hungry lion trying to dress up in a fox costume that did not fit.
This concept of being a fox and lion means that to succeed in your ‘battle’ a person must be a cunning, deceitful fox and a powerful, aggressive lion both at the same time. “He should select among them the fox and the lion, because the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot protect himself from the wolves.” (2528 Prince) In this, Machiavelli’s explains that a prince must be a lion to protect himself from outside invasion with brute force and power, however when the tables are turned and the war is one of intellect, the prince must also have within him the ability to reason and think outside of the box.
Within the story Devasmita relentlessly uses Machiavelli’s concept of being both a lion and a fox. By placing her enemies in an inescapable cuckold she is able to both peek out her fox and then pounce on them with her lion. “Fetch me immediately some liquor loaded with Datura drug and go and have a dog’s-paw branding iron made”. (965) This quote is where Devasmita gives commands to her maid to prepare a trap for the merchant’s sons, which displays both her lion and her fox. Having an aggressive and vengeful side to her plan proves Devasmita is ruthless and powerful like a lion. However, she does not act in a manner of mere blatant violence. She uses her concept of the fox to first deceive her opponent with a seemingly harmless tea and then impair them with the Datura poison.
The nun also uses her concept of the lion and the fox in an attempt to help out the merchant’s sons. Her plan is to be a fox to trick Devasmita into believing that she was not...
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