Chapter

When Does Sītā Cease to Be Sītā?

Mandakranta Bose

in The Ramayana Revisited

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195168327
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835362 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168321.003.0009
 When Does Sītā Cease to Be Sītā?

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This chapter looks at how a fictional character's identity can change when the character is recreated through multiple versions of the narrative. In comparison to other legendary women of India, such as Draupadi of the Mahabharata, the gopis of the Bhagavata Purana, and the women characters of the Katha-sarit-sagara, Sītā has emerged as the epitome of wifely devotion and self-sacrifice, especially in the 20th century. Drawing upon several retellings of the Rāmayna and the more recent tradition of “anti-Rāmāyana” texts, an attempt is made to discover what holds together the idea of Sītā even as the portrayal of her character changes.

Keywords: Sītā; Rāmayna; identity; women characters

Chapter.  11295 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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