Homework Help

Identify shared character sketches in the Ramayana.

user profile pic

angel-blanco | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM via web

dislike 0 like

Identify shared character sketches in the Ramayana.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Without more specification in the original question, I think that one can see how the character sketches in the Ramayana break down into those who adhere to dharma and the natural order of being and those who embrace a sense of lawlessness.  The shared character sketches in the work reside in this domain.  Lord Rama and those who align themselves with him embrace the order of dharmic responsibility, recognizing the need to maintain this order through adherence and respect of it.  When Lord Rama is banished to the woods, he recognizes the flawed nature of the command, yet does not question the word of his mother and father, arguing that one must adhere to the respected order that has been established.  His fundamental conflict with Ravana is this collision.  Ravana and those on his side operate in a sense of complete flouting of the law and the social and natural order that needs to be maintained.  They operate in a sense of coveting and desiring that which excites the senses.  When Ravana's sister sees Lord Rama and Lakshmana, she wants them. Her sense of pride offended when she is rejected and disfigured after her potential attack of Sita, she inspires this same sense of coveting in her brother when describing Sita's beauty.  The breaking of the rule of dharma and duty is evident when Ravana abducts Sita and wishes her to be his.  The shared character sketches in the work break down into those who respect the natural law of duty that governs individuals and those who reject it, favoring the satisfaction of their own personal senses over anything transcendent.  This becomes the battle in the work, one side positing transcendence, while the other contingency.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes