The Evolution of Man: Studying Sri Aurobindo's Dramatic Ouevre
Keywords:Sri Aurobindo, Indian Aesthetics, Spiritual Development, Indian Drama, Evolution of Man
Sri Aurobindo wrote around eleven verse plays, much in the tradition of the Elizabethan poetic plays. Many similarities and equally numbered distinctions may be traced midst the dramatic output of William Shakespeare and Sri Aurobindo. However, of the eleven plays only five plays are complete, in that they have a five act structure, namely- Viziers of Bassora, Eric, Rodogune, Perseus: The Deliverer and Vasavadutta. The genealogy of all these plays may be traced to the legends or myths, of the various ancient cultures which populated the world and shaped its history. Irrespective of their different myths of origin, Sri Aurobindo, much like Shakespeare employs these stories only as the raw clay, while he mould the statue out of it, according to his own vision, that is the Evolution of Man.
An analysis of Sri Aurobindo’s plays elucidates the unparalleled range and vision to which his plays bear testimony. The notable feature of Sri Aurobindo’s plays is that they portray diverse cultures and nations in different aeons, populated with an array of characters, moods and sentiments.
Sri Aurobindo spent almost all his growing years in England, studying English and other classical literatures and the impact of this reading is discernible in his plays. He seems to be particularly impressed by the Elizabethan drama and employs its technique in matters of plot construction and characterisation. He is said to have perfected the English blank verse which he deftly displays in the dialogues of his characters. His plays can thus be said to be a unique blend of the Sanskrit and Western philosophical and aesthetic theories as the plot, the climax, the progression and the theme is unmistakably Indian. He seems to have been influenced by the Sanskrit playwrights like Bhasa, Kalidas and Bhavabhuti and all five plays are imbued with the poetry and romance which is similar in spirit and flavour of the distinctive dramatic type which was the signature style of Bhasa, Kalidas and Bhavabhuti, and simultaneously preserve the Aurobindonian undertones. The paper attempts to elucidate the ‘Evolution of Man’ which Sri Aurobindo mounts through his plays.
Ghosh, Sri Aurobindo. The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. 36 vols. to date. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, 1997-. Print.
Gupta, Nolini Kant. Evolution and the Earthly Destiny. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, 1976. Print.
Kumar, PremaNand. "Perseus the Deliverer." Perspectives on Indian Drama in English. Ed. M. K. Naik. Madras: Oxford UP, 1977. 17. Print.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Ansh Sharma
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.