Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Rama, King Dasa-ratha’s son, partly an incarnation of Vishnu. The handsomest and strongest of the king’s four sons, he wins Sita for his bride by bending the mighty bow of King Janak. Although his aging father wishes him to become regent, he is forced by Queen Kaikeyi into a fourteen-year exile, from which he finally returns triumphant to his throne.
Sita, Rama’s wife, the daughter of King Janak and the Earth Mother. She accompanies her husband into exile and is abducted by Ravan. Although she manages to remain faithful to Rama during her captivity, rumors of unfaithfulness are spread abroad and believed by her husband and the people. Finally, her virtue is proved, but the Earth Mother takes her away from those who have doubted her.
King Dasa-ratha, Rama’s father, king of the Kosalas, who wishes his son to be regent but must send him, instead, into exile because of an old promise made to Queen Kaikeyi.
Queen Kaikeyi, one of King Dasa-ratha’s wives and the mother of Bharat. Promised two boons by her husband, she asks that Rama be sent into exile and that Bharat be made regent.
Bharat, Rama’s half brother. Although forced into the regency by Queen Kaikeyi, he recognizes Rama’s claim to the throne, which he holds for him.
Lakshman, Rama’s loyal brother and his companion during his exile.
Satrughna, another of Rama’s half brothers.
Sruta-kriti, Rama’s sisters-in-law.
King Janak, Sita’s father, who offers her as a bride to the one who bends his mighty bow.
The Earth Mother
The Earth Mother, Sita’s mother, who takes her daughter back among the gods when her virtue is questioned by Rama and his people.
Ravan, the Demon King of Lanka. He abducts Sita but is finally overthrown by Rama.
Agastya, hermits and holy men.
Hanuman, a leader of the monkey people.
Manthara, Queen Kaikeyi’s maid.