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What is the role of Madhavya in Abhijanan Shakuntalam?

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Madhavya is described as an overweight jester; he was King Dushyanta's entertainer, and he travelled to various places with the king. At first, he is seen as a character there to create comic relief rather than to be taken seriously.

As the story develops, it becomes evident that Madhavya is also an important confidant in the king's eyes, and Madhavya is told all about the king's feelings for Shankuntala. Madhavya is shown to be a practical type of person, initially advising the king against an unwise union with Shankuntala. However, he shows his softer side when, after hearing the way the king described the object of his affection, he suggested that the two marry in haste.

He has a way of making the king see sense and bringing him back down to earth when required. The king recognizes this, and it is one of the reasons why he trusts Madhavya to have his back and guide him in the right direction.

Over and above his role of adviser, companion, and friend to the King, Madhavya plays an...

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