Overview

Mahabharata


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A: Jean-Claude Carrière Pf: 1985, Avignon Pb: 1985 Tr: 1987 G: Drama in 3 parts; French prose S: India, in the mythic past C: 30 performers playing 16 main characters (13m, 3f) and many minor characters(1) The Game of Dice. Vyasa dictates to a Boy ‘the poetical history of mankind’. Because the king's son Bhishma takes a vow of chastity, the succession passes through the king's stepson Vyasa, father of Dhritarashtra the Blind and of Pandu the Pale. Gandhari, King Dhritarashtra's wife, bears him 100 sons, the Kauravas. Pandu's wife Kunti gives birth to the five Pandavas, and much of the story turns on the enmity between these two families. Because Kunti orders that the Pandava brothers must share everything, they all marry the beautiful Draupadi. The Kauravas are envious of the success and happiness of the Pandavas and challenge the oldest brother Yudhishthira to a game of dice. He loses everything, Draupadi is humiliated, and the Pandavas, vowing revenge, are forced into exile in the forest for 12 years. (2) Exile in the Forest. Not content with imposing exile on their cousins, the Kauravas hunt for the Pandavas in the forest. In the 13th year the Pandavas hide at the court of King Vitara, but Arjuna, son of Kunti and Indra king of gods, is recognized on a cattle raid. Both sides prepare for war, and the god Krishna offers to drive Arjuna's chariot. (3) The War. A devastating war takes place, many of the heroes are killed, their children are all murdered, millions are slain, even Krishna dies. The Pandavas' victory costs far too dear, and all but Yudhishthira subsequently perish in the mountains. In ‘the last illusion’ he mounts to heaven to find the Kauravas in bliss and the Pandavas suffering in torment.The world's greatest epic poem (15 times the length of the Bible) was adapted for a nine-hour performance under the imaginative direction of Peter Brook and was toured widely and made into a film. While Brook has been criticized for ‘cultural piracy’ of a religious text, others have welcomed the access it offers to the richness of Indian legend.

A: Jean-Claude Carrière Pf: 1985, Avignon Pb: 1985 Tr: 1987 G: Drama in 3 parts; French prose S: India, in the mythic past C: 30 performers playing 16 main characters (13m, 3f) and many minor characters

(1) The Game of Dice. Vyasa dictates to a Boy ‘the poetical history of mankind’. Because the king's son Bhishma takes a vow of chastity, the succession passes through the king's stepson Vyasa, father of Dhritarashtra the Blind and of Pandu the Pale. Gandhari, King Dhritarashtra's wife, bears him 100 sons, the Kauravas. Pandu's wife Kunti gives birth to the five Pandavas, and much of the story turns on the enmity between these two families. Because Kunti orders that the Pandava brothers must share everything, they all marry the beautiful Draupadi. The Kauravas are envious of the success and happiness of the Pandavas and challenge the oldest brother Yudhishthira to a game of dice. He loses everything, Draupadi is humiliated, and the Pandavas, vowing revenge, are forced into exile in the forest for 12 years. (2) Exile in the Forest. Not content with imposing exile on their cousins, the Kauravas hunt for the Pandavas in the forest. In the 13th year the Pandavas hide at the court of King Vitara, but Arjuna, son of Kunti and Indra king of gods, is recognized on a cattle raid. Both sides prepare for war, and the god Krishna offers to drive Arjuna's chariot. (3) The War. A devastating war takes place, many of the heroes are killed, their children are all murdered, millions are slain, even Krishna dies. The Pandavas' victory costs far too dear, and all but Yudhishthira subsequently perish in the mountains. In ‘the last illusion’ he mounts to heaven to find the Kauravas in bliss and the Pandavas suffering in torment.

[...]

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.