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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 254

This play takes place in the historical and cultural context of the Indian struggle for independence from British colonial rule, a struggle that dates back to the 1800s. Learn more about the history of Indian colonization by Britain and the struggle for national independence, which took place during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. What were some of the key events in the history of this struggle?

Stoppard has been compared to such notable playwrights as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and Harold Pinter. Learn more about one of these great playwrights. What are his major works? How do critics characterize his dramatic style? Are his works associated with any particular school of dramatic style?

Characters in Stoppard’s play discuss classic works of Indian art, including paintings and sculpture. Learn more about the art history of India. In what ways has Indian art been influenced by religion? What have been the major trends in twentieth-century Indian art?

Stoppard’s characters mention several great European painters of the twentieth century, including Modigliani, Picasso, Matisse, and Derain. Learn more about the works of one of these artists. What style or school of painting is he associated with? What are some of the key elements of his artistic style? What are some of his major works?

Indian characters in Stoppard’s play attempt to explain elements of the Hindu religion to the European characters. Learn more about Hinduism. What are the central tenets and beliefs of Hinduism? What is the history of the Hindu religion?

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