Mythology In Girish Karnad

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Girish Karnad is a product of cross cultural fertilization. Marathi is his mother tongue. Kannada is the language of his childhood that became the language of the writer. English is his academic language in which he has acquired proficiency. Besides these he knows Hindi and Sanskrit, too. On the one hand he inherited Indian tradition of drama and on the other he acquired modern techniques of drama. He makes good use of Indian mythology in his plays to find parables for the contemporary situations. He picks up stories and characters from Indian mythology and history and through them he dramatizes the contemporary realities. While preparing for his first trip to England he was in an intense emotional turmoil and to escape from it he took up the Mahabharata for casual reading. The story of Yayati strikes him and he finds himself writing a play. Yayati. He wonders how precisely the myth relflects his anxieties and his resentment with all those who expected him to sacrifice his future for his family in India. He admits- “the myth and enabled me to articulate to myself a set of values that I had been unable to arrive at rationally”. (Introduction 3) Karnadbelives that he has no dramatic structure in his own tradition to which he can relate himself. That’s why in Yayati the language and the theme are Indian but from is drawn not from the Indian mythology but from the western playwrights whom he had read. Yayati was published in 1961. It is a retelling of the Hindu myth on the

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