“Only You”: The Wedding of Rāma and Sītā, Past and Present

Mandakranta Bose

in The Ramayana Revisited

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195168327
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835362 | DOI:
 “Only You”: The Wedding of Rāma and Sītā, Past and Present

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This chapter studies narrative design. Gender roles are studied, in which three versions of the wedding of Rāma and Sītā as they appear in Valmiki's Rāmāyana, in Tulsidas's Ramcaritmanas, and the TV version by Rāmanand Sagar are compared. It shows how the classical, medieval, and contemporary portrayals differ from each other, and speculates about what meanings the refocusing of the narrative may hold for the cultural authority of contemporary mass media. It is argued that looking at the different periods from which each version of the tale was created, the focus has shifted from duty to devotion and from devotion to entertainment, although the message of wifely devotion has, if anything, gained greater currency and has solidified conventional gender paradigms.

Keywords: Rāmāyana; Rāma; Sītā; narrative design; gender roles; wedding; Ramcaritmanas; Rāmanand Sagar

Chapter.  27763 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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