Study_Questions_for_Sakuntala - to what extent is she...

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Study Questions for Sakuntala 1. For much of the play, the two lovers are separated from one another, first because the king hesitates, then because Sakuntala hesitates, and finally because of the curse. Consider how this play expresses the condition of unrequited or frustrated desire, and compare to expressions we’ve seen in other works this semester. 2. Do you think the king’s abandonment of Sakuntala is wholly explained by the curse? Is the king at fault in any way? Is Sakuntala at fault? 3. Given how happy Sakuntala was at the hermitage, and how sad everyone is when she leaves, might things have been better if the King had never intruded? How so or how not? 4. We’ve talked a lot about gender and gender differences this semester. How are women’s roles and women’s identity defined by/in this play? To what extent does Sakuntala have agency or power, and
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Unformatted text preview: to what extent is she passive? 5. This play is full of parallel moments as one scene echoes another. Find some of these and consider why the playwright might have constructed his play in this way. (For example, the celestial hermitage at the end echoes the forest heritage at the beginning.) 6. Consider the king’s emotions once he returns to court, before the ring is discovered. To what extent does he seem, nonetheless, to remember her? How do his emotions change when the ring is discovered? 7. Why does the king then cancel the spring festivities? What role does his painting of Sakuntala play in his emotional state? (How does this play imagine the relationship between art and life?) 8. How has the king changed by the end of the play? How has Sakuntala changed?...
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