The IUP Journal of English Studies
East Meets West: Girish Karnad’s Nagamandala and John Keats’ “Lamia”

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES61912
Author Name : Denish Raja Durai K
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 06



The paper makes a comparative study of Girish Karnad’s play Nagamandala and John Keats’ poem “Lamia” with reference to the archetypes used in both the works. The paper shows that in “Lamia,” it is clearly the Occidental mind at work, which separates the male and the female, the instinct and the intellect, the goddess and the witch. On the other hand, in Nagamandala, the Oriental tendency toward integration operates in bringing together the same contraries.


Is sex the original sin or the third of the four Purusharthas, the four goals of human life? Is the serpent Satan or Adisesha? Kipling (1895) would have dismissed these questions in one line:

East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.

That line typifies the attitude of the Western mind. The Oriental psyche is distinctly different from its Occidental counterpart in that it tends to integrate contraries, while the latter tends to separate them and keep them apart. So it would be in the true spirit of the Orient to bring about this apparently unlikely meeting between the East and the West in comparing the two works—John Keats’ poem “Lamia” and Girish Karnad’s play Nagamandala—placed in completely different times, places, cultures, and language contexts.


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