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BEGC-101: Indian Classical Literature

BEGC-101: Indian Classical Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BEGC-101 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Indian Classical Literature, you have come to the right place. BEGC-101 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BAEGH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BEGC-101/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BEGC-101

Assignment Name: Indian Classical Literature

Year: 2023-24

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Section A

Answer with reference to the context in about 100 words each:

Q1i) “Perish the sinful thought,

Why are you out to sully your family’s honour;

And to make me fall: you are like a river

That crumbles its banks to muddy its crystal stream,

and uproots the tree growing by its edge.”

Ans) The given lines are from the play "The Good Woman of Setzuan" by Bertolt Brecht. The character Shen Teh speaks to them. In this context, Shen Teh is addressing her cousin Shui Ta, who has been acting as her male alter ego.

Shen Teh is admonishing Shui Ta for his actions that may tarnish their family's honor. She compares him to a river that muddies its pure waters by eroding its banks and to a tree that is uprooted by this erosion. These lines highlight the theme of moral conflict in the play, as Shen Teh struggles to maintain her goodness in a challenging and corrupt world.

Q1ii) “As the law is subtle, my dear, I fail

To resolve your riddle the proper way:

A man without property cannot stake another’s

But given that wives are the husband’s chattels?”

Ans) The provided lines are a response to a riddle, and the speaker expresses their inability to solve it correctly due to the subtlety of the law. The riddle is about a man without property who cannot stake another person's property. However, the speaker mentions the complication arising from the concept that wives were often considered as their husband's property in certain historical and cultural contexts. This reference to the ownership of wives highlights the societal norms and legal complexities surrounding gender and property during the time when this riddle was composed, adding depth to the riddle's meaning.

Q1iii) “After my case has been investigated, by means of the ordeals of poison, water, balance, and fire, then with justice you might have today ordered a saw to be used on this body of mine. But as you are killing me, a Brahmana, relying on the words of my enemy, you will surely fall into hell, along with your sons and grandsons!”

Ans) The quote provided is from the ancient Indian epic, the "Mahabharata," specifically from the "Udyoga Parva" section. In this context, it is Bhishma speaking to King Duryodhana. Bhishma, a respected warrior and elder, warns Duryodhana about the consequences of his actions. He mentions ordeals like poison, water, balance, and fire as tests that, if he had passed fairly, would have justified severe punishment for Bhishma.

However, Bhishma accuses Duryodhana of relying on false accusations by his enemy, Draupadi. Bhishma's statement reflects his principles of justice and honour, emphasizing the consequences of acting unjustly and unfairly, not only for Duryodhana but for his descendants as well.

Q1iv) “The Pantiyan king who sat

On the lion- throne, with Lakshmi glowing on his breast,

Fainted and died, not knowing what to do

With the ordeal of the woman with fair wreaths.”

Ans) The lines are from the poem "The Dance of the Eunuchs" by Kamala Das. In this context, the speaker is describing a moment in history when the Pantiyan king, who was powerful and respected, was brought to a point of weakness and confusion. The phrase "with Lakshmi glowing on his breast" symbolizes the king's opulence and prosperity. However, the king's inability to handle the "ordeal of the woman with fair wreaths" suggests a loss of control and a sense of helplessness when faced with the challenges posed by a woman. This underscores the shifting dynamics and challenges to traditional patriarchal authority, which the poem explores.

Section B

Answer the following in about 350 words each:

Q1) Examine the nature and function of dramatic art as propagated by Bharat Muni’s Natyashastra.

Ans) Bharat Muni's Natyashastra, believed to have been composed around the 2nd century BCE, stands as a comprehensive guide to the performing arts in ancient India. The nature and function of dramatic art, as elucidated by Bharat Muni, are deeply rooted in the concept of rasa, which refers to the emotional essence or flavor that the audience experiences during a performance.

The Natyashastra delves into the intricate components that constitute dramatic art. One of the fundamental elements is the concept of rasa, which is the primary objective of dramatic expression. Bharat Muni identified eight main rasas: love (shringara), humor (hasya), pathos (karuna), anger (roudra), heroism (veera), terror (bhayanaka), disgust (vibhatsa), and wonder (adbhuta). These rasas, when skillfully conveyed through the various elements of drama, are meant to evoke a specific emotional response in the audience, providing them with a profound aesthetic experience.

The Natyashastra highlights the importance of a well-structured plot (katha) in creating a successful dramatic presentation. The plot should be engaging, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and it should incorporate various dramatic elements to sustain the audience's interest. Characters (neta) play a pivotal role in the narrative, representing different emotional and moral qualities. The Natyashastra categorizes characters into various types based on their predominant traits, further contributing to the nuanced portrayal of emotions.

Music (sangeet) is another integral component of dramatic art according to the Natyashastra. It emphasizes the use of vocal and instrumental music to enhance the emotional impact of the performance. The synchronization of music with the dramatic elements is considered crucial for creating a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing experience.

The Natyashastra also provides guidelines for the aesthetics of stage design, costumes, and makeup. A visually appealing and well-coordinated presentation is seen as essential to captivate the audience's senses and immerse them in the unfolding drama.

The function of dramatic art, as outlined by Bharat Muni, goes beyond mere entertainment. While entertaining the audience is certainly a crucial aspect, the Natyashastra underscores the educational and moral dimensions of drama. It serves as a medium for imparting knowledge, conveying ethical values, and fostering a sense of cultural identity. Through the portrayal of diverse characters and situations, drama becomes a tool for both reflection and introspection, prompting the audience to contemplate various aspects of life and human nature.

Q2) Was Yudhidhthira right in staking Draupadi in the game of dice? Does he have any moral/ legal rights to do so? Discuss.

Ans) Yudhishthira's decision to stake Draupadi in the game of dice is a complex and morally contentious episode in the Mahabharata. From a moral standpoint, his action is widely considered to be ethically reprehensible. In the context of ancient Indian societal norms, the sanctity of the marital relationship was highly regarded, and staking one's spouse in a gambling match was an egregious violation of these norms. The act of gambling itself was frowned upon in Hindu society, as it often led to destructive consequences and was associated with vices.

However, examining Yudhishthira's decision from a legal perspective of the time reveals a different dimension. The Mahabharata is a reflection of a society governed by its own set of rules and codes of conduct. In this context, the game of dice had established rules, and participants were expected to adhere to the terms of the wager. Yudhishthira might have believed that he had the legal right, within the parameters of the game, to stake his possessions, including Draupadi. This legal interpretation, however, does not absolve the act of its moral implications.

In the larger narrative of the Mahabharata, the disrobing of Draupadi in the Kaurava court is a pivotal moment that sparks the Kurukshetra war. The consequences of Yudhishthira's decision extend beyond the moral and legal realms, shaping the tragic trajectory of the epic. The assembly's silence during Draupadi's humiliation reflects a collective moral failure, emphasizing the skewed values of a society torn by power struggles and familial discord.

While Yudhishthira's adherence to the rules of the game may provide a legal justification within the Mahabharata's fictional framework, it does little to mitigate the moral censure associated with such an act. The Mahabharata, as an epic, serves not only as a historical or mythological account but also as a repository of moral and ethical lessons. Yudhishthira's decision to stake Draupadi stands as a stark reminder of the consequences of moral compromise and the imperative to uphold ethical standards even in the face of societal norms or legal frameworks.

In conclusion, Yudhishthira's decision to stake Draupadi in the game of dice is widely condemned from a moral standpoint, given the sacred nature of the marital relationship. While there may have been a legal framework within the context of the game, the moral repercussions of such an act are profound and contribute significantly to the tragic unfolding of the Mahabharata. The episode serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of upholding moral principles even in the face of legal or societal justifications.

Q3) Examine the Mrichchhkatika as a prakarna.

Ans) "Mrichchhakatika," often translated as "The Little Clay Cart" in English, is a prominent example of a prakarana in Sanskrit drama. Attributed to the ancient playwright Shudraka, the play stands out for its exploration of domestic and mundane themes, characteristic of the prakarana genre.

Prakarana, one of the ten recognized forms of Sanskrit drama, focuses on everyday life and the experiences of common people. Unlike some other forms, prakarana does not necessarily involve gods, kings, or epic heroes. Instead, it delves into the lives of ordinary individuals, offering a more relatable and realistic portrayal of human existence.

"Mrichchhakatika" unfolds in a bustling urban setting, providing a vivid depiction of city life in ancient India. The central narrative revolves around the intertwining lives of characters from diverse backgrounds, exploring themes such as love, ambition, and social dynamics. The play's title, "The Little Clay Cart," refers to a pivotal event involving a clay cart, symbolizing the mundane and ordinary aspects of life that can lead to extraordinary consequences.

One of the distinctive features of "Mrichchhakatika" is its skillful blend of humor, romance, and social commentary. The play incorporates wit and satire, often using humor to highlight the foibles of its characters and the complexities of human relationships. The romantic elements add depth to the narrative, portraying the intricacies of love and desire in a way that resonates with the audience.

The social commentary in "Mrichchhakatika" is subtle yet poignant. Through the interactions and predicaments of its characters, the play touches upon various societal issues, including class distinctions, corruption, and the pursuit of justice. These themes contribute to the play's broader significance as a reflection of the social milieu of its time.

To summarise, "Mrichchhakatika" demonstrates the prakarana genre of Sanskrit play by engrossing the spectator in the day-to-day activities of regular people, which is a hallmark of the prakarana subgenre. This drama is a captivating portrayal of the prakarana tradition because of the great storytelling that is provided by Shudraka, as well as a rich tapestry of comedic elements, romantic elements, and societal satire. "Mrichchhakatika" continues to captivate audiences and serves as a testament to the evergreen appeal of Sanskrit theatre since it examines everyday situations and topics that can be related to by a wide variety of people.

Q4) Write a detailed note on akam and puram poetry in Cilappatikaran.

Ans) The "Cilappatikaram," attributed to the ancient Tamil poet Ilango Adigal, stands as one of the most significant literary works in Tamil literature. Central to its narrative structure is the distinction between akam and puram poetry, which enriches the epic by providing a comprehensive exploration of the inner and outer dimensions of human experience.

Akam, in the context of the "Cilappatikaram," refers to the poetry that delves into the intimate, personal, and emotional aspects of life. It is concerned with the inner world of human experiences, particularly focusing on love and relationships. The term "akam" literally means "inside" or "interior," emphasizing the inward perspective of this poetry. The "Cilappatikaram" explores the intricacies of love, desire, and the emotional landscape of its characters through the lens of akam poetry. The characters' internal struggles, conflicts, and joys are vividly portrayed, providing the reader with a profound understanding of their emotional states.

On the other hand, puram poetry in the "Cilappatikaram" deals with external themes and events. It encompasses the broader aspects of life, such as nature, war, and societal affairs. The term "puram" signifies the exterior or outer dimensions, emphasizing the public and communal aspects of human existence. Puram poetry in the epic serves to contextualize the characters' experiences within the larger socio-cultural and political framework. It explores themes such as the Chola kingdom's governance, the dynamics of war, and the consequences of societal norms and expectations. The interplay between akam and puram in the "Cilappatikaram" creates a nuanced and layered narrative. The inner emotional turmoil of the characters, particularly the love story of Kannagi and Kovalan, is set against the backdrop of external challenges and societal norms. This dual structure enhances the epic's depth, allowing it to resonate with a diverse range of human experiences.

In conclusion, the akam and puram poetry in the "Cilappatikaram" provides a unique and comprehensive exploration of the human experience. By distinguishing between the inner, personal realm of emotions (akam) and the outer, societal context (puram), the epic offers a rich and textured narrative that captures the complexities of life, love, and the human condition in ancient Tamil society.

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