पृष्ठम्:Mudrarakshasa.pdf/१२

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एतत् पृष्ठम् परिष्कृतम् अस्ति


INTRODUCTION.

( FIRST EDITION.)


The Mudranakshasa is in sundry respects, a very unique work in Sanskrit literature. Its plot is not a pure invention, but on the other hand, it is not derived from the usual store-house of legends on which Sanskrit authors have generally drawn for their materials. It has no female among its prominent dramatis personae, and the business of the play, accordingly, is diplomacy and politics to the entire exclusion of love. There is, in truth, but one female character, with one little child, introduced into the play, and these are Chandanadâsa's wife and son, who come in at the beginning of the last Act. But even their appearance introduces no passages suggestive of tenderness or the purely domestic virtues, but only of sacrifice. —a, stern sense of duty. The style is appropriate to the nature of the subject; it does not lay much claim to Sweetness or beauty, but is always business-like and often vigorous. In the delineation of character, likewise, the virtues and vices which are depicted are more those of the sterner sort, not so much those con: nected with the tender affections. Thus, to take first the most prominent character in the play, Chanakya is represented as a clear-headed, self-confident, intriguing, hard politician, with the ultimate end of his ambition thoroughly well-determined, and .directing all his clear-headedness and intrigue to the accomplishment of that end. Rakshasa, on the other hand, is represented as a brave soldier, but a, blundering and somewhat soft-natured politician, whose faithfulness to his original masters prompts him to Wreak vengeance for their destruction on Chandragupta and Chénakya who were their destroyers, but who has ultimately to abandon the self imposed task, being foiled by the arts of his adversary. The proximate motive of the abandonment, however, is the duty of repaying favours received by him when he was engaged in his attempts at vengeance as above stated. Thus the two rivals are both placed before us, so to say, almost exclusively in their official chara-


* Cf. pp. 75, 6 with pp. 119-21; pp. 85-6, 108 with pp. 123 (where the snakes are mentioned, though Virâdhagupta is brought in for his Subhashita, p.121 ),188, 204-5, 243-6; pp102-3with pp. 141, 260; and see Act VI. passim + p, 292 et seq

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