Second Project

The story “The Recognition of Sakuntala” is told in two different ways. The way I’m going to be talking about today was translated by W.J. Johnson. This story has many up’s and downs as it follows the love story between Sakuntala and King Dusyanta. The part of the story I want to focus on is act 3 when Sakuntala gets “sick” from being so in love with the king. I want to rewrite this act having more of Sakuntala point of view because we don’t really hear from her a lot in this act because she is “sick” and I want to know what might be going through her mind at this moment, because we are only hearing from her friends Anasuya and Priyamvada when they are telling her how she’s feeling based how Sakuntala is describing herself.

When this scene first starts off the king is doing a sacrifice for something, I never really read what it was about. But anyway as the scene goes on the king finds Sakuntala and is kind of stalking her for a little bit, as he says “Sakuntala seems to be very ill. [Pondering] Now, is it the heat, or is it the heart, as it is with me ? [Gazing with longing] But there’s really no question: Her breasts are smeared with lotus balm, Her firbre bracelet slips her wrist, Her body’s racked–and lovely still, The summer sears her– but so does love, And with greater skill.” One of the reasons I thought he was being a stalker was that he was literally watching her talk to her friends from a distance and when Sakuntala and her friends appeared for the first time in this act he knew it was her right away without even having to hear her voice. Showing me that he spends way to much time obsessing over her. Leading to the assumption that he may be the reason Sakuntala looks so sick because of how in love they are.

But later on down that page Priyamvada is talking to Anasuya about how the king maybe the cause of Sakuntala’s fever, because ever since she laid her eyes on the king she has been terribly restless. So when Priyamvada and Anasuya ask her what wrong she says “what do you want to say to me, friend?” Bringing up the fact that they look like they need to talk to her about something. But then when they ask her to describe ho she is feeling she just says, “it’s all too much-I can’t talk about.” Right here I feel like she is just shutting herself down and not allowing her friends to do their job, which is to be there for her when she needs someone to talk to about her love life when she can’t talk to her parents. I also think at this moment she is feeling very overwelled and doesn’t know what to do with her feelings and that is why she looks so stressed and sick, because her emotions for the king are all over the place.

Then right after she says that Priyamvada says, “Dear Sakuntala, Anasuya’s quite right: you must face up to your illness. Why– your fading away in front of our eyes. All that survives of you is a beautiful shadow.” Now at this point when they are talking about her illness it makes me think that Sakuntala is actually feverish because they are talking about how she is fading away into nothing but a shadow, and how she needs to talk about her feelings towards the king before it’s too late. Just then the king walks in and starts talking about how she looks by saying, “That’s nothing less than the truth. For: Her cheeks are drawn, her bosom shrinks, Her waist contracts, her shoulders stoop, Her colour drains. Love strikes her down– A beauty sad as spring’s young leaves, Shriveled in the furnace of summers breeze.” In response Sakuntala says “Darlings, who else could I tell but you? But it will upset you.” In these two sentences the king is talking about how Sakuntala doesn’t look good and how she should talk about her feelings and not hide them. But Sakuntala’s response is kind of saying if I had to talk about something who else would I talk to other than you guys. Implying that she has been telling them how she is feeling, but not really.

I think she doesn’t know what to say to her friends or the king so she says nothing instead leaving them to infer what is happening to her. Then as soon as she starts to tell them how she really feels she breaks off in embarrassment, but her friends tell her to go on ad tell them when she is ready. “Friends, from the very moment I saw that royal sage who protects the hermitage… From that moment, I’ve been filled with longing for him… And that’s why I’m in this state.” So she eventually does tell her friends how she is feeling but it still took some time and got me wondering if she considers these people her friends why did it take her so long to confess how she was feeling, if she knew she could trust them. Although it still begs the question how was she feeling while she was telling them this. I can infer that she is head over heels in love with the king and deserves to be happy no matter the cost, and that her friends should support her no matter what.


One of the reasons I decided to rewrite or add on to act three is because I wanted to know more about what Sakuntala was feeling, rather than have to infer it because she doesn’t give a lot of details as to how she is feeling. I mean I know we touched upon it for a class person but we never went in depth about how she was feeling and that’s what I wanted to do with this unessay, and I thought it was a great idea to expand on and see what everyone thinks of my opinion act 3. You may also be wondering why I gave you background information on the book, and I’ll tell you. I gave you background information so you wouldn’t be confused on which version of the story I was using because I know some people read the PDF document and some read the book, and I just wanted to make sure I gave you enough information for you to tell which document I took it from because I know they are both worded differently or have some stuff in different spots. Another reason I decided to do an unessay is because I don’t really write well when it comes to a formatted essay and I figured that the unessay really gives me the creativity to do whatever I want when it comes to this project and I can really put my own spin on it and not worry about running out of things to say. Overall I was really excited to write this paper and can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of it. When it comes to the question “why does literature matter?”, I’ll tell you why. Literature matters because it gives people a way to express themselves and it gives people a way to get other people thoughts on the topics they are writing about. Literature also matters because it gives people a way to escape from reality and think of something else other than what is happening in their real lives. Now why is this literature important? I think that Sakuntala is an important story to read and or teach because it is a romantic comedy and because it shows that people really can fall in love at first sight and it’s okay to be in love with someone right when you meet them. It is also showing you that your friends are there to talk to you about anything that’s what they are for, so don’t shut them out. Let your friends share the burden with you and don’t be afraid to overwhelm them with certain information because let me tell you, they can handle anything no matter the topic and or situation. Overall I think this story did a great job showing us that there is always someone to turn to when you need to talk about something, and if a person is right for you they always find a way of showing back up in you life, even if you don’t think you will ever see them again.

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