Is Aurangzeb by Indira Parthasarthy a drama of ideas?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A drama of ideas has several synonyms or, as Arthur H. Nethercot put it in "The Drama of Ideas," near-synonyms. One such synonym for drama of ideas is problem play. It may actually be more accurate to call a problem play a specific kind of drama of ideas, with thesis play and theme play being two other kinds of drama of ideas.

The distinguishing characteristic of drama of ideas is that the play presents social issues for the purpose of the audience's awakening and edification. According to Nethercot, problem plays may or may not suggest solutions, while thesis plays defend a thesis assertion and theme plays explore a thematic topic.

According to, the synopsis of Aurangzeb (1974) by Indira Parthasarthy says that it is about historic forces in India the led up to the war of succession from England as shown through the ideologies of the characters, which also provides a psychological examination of the characters. Parthasarthy also examines the one nation-one language-one religion theory relevant to the social climate of the 1970s.

A comparison between the synopsis of Aurangzeb and the definition of drama of ideas indicates that, yes, Aurangzeb is a drama of ideas. Parthasarthy presents social issues and proposes to awaken the audience and edify their understanding for the purpose of spurring responsible social choices.