This beginning of the story makes me cringe a little bit while reading. When the king first comes upon the heritage, he hides himself in the shadows so he can watch the girls go water the trees., describing it as a “charming sight”. As he eyes Shakuntala, things start to get semi creepy. He goes on to say, “This slight child beggars here beggars clothes/ all rags are gowns on girls who burn this bright.” Right away another red flag should be going off because she is described as a child, and we can only assume the king is much older than her. He then proceeds to think, “youth pushes up through all her limbs”, defiantly saying that due to her youthfulness, she is super attractive to him. All this is happening, mind you in the shadows in the distance. I don’t know about you but this is screaming stalker vibes.
The king then proceeds to revel himself, and of course this girls are immediately questioning who and why he was there. After saying hes the king however, everything is fine and it even goes on to say this very questionable line. Shakuntala wonders “simply at the the sight of this man, I am shaken with passion at odds with the religious life.” I think I might barf.