Red Lotus Essay

1130 Words5 Pages
Devasmita and the nun, two characters in Somadeva’s “The Red Lotus of Chastity”, employ the same concept from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Both Devasmita and the nun attempt to follow Machiavelli’s concept of being a lion and fox. However, only Devasmita succeeds in being both animals while the nun is merely a power hungry lion trying to dress up in a fox costume that did not fit. This concept of being a fox and lion means that to succeed in your ‘battle’ a person must be a cunning, deceitful fox and a powerful, aggressive lion both at the same time. “He should select among them the fox and the lion, because the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot protect himself from the wolves.” (2528 Prince) In this,…show more content…
Also by bringing the merchant’s son directly to Devasmita she is showing the initiative of the lion by attacking first. This quote also elucidates her capabilities of being a fox because she disguises the merchant’s sons as her own pupil. In this way the nun is able to mislead Devasmita not only just with words and hearing but also with the sense of vision. By using Machiavelli’s concept of being both the lion and the fox, Devasmita comes out victorious in her fight against the nun and the merchant’s sons. Near the end of the story Devasmita must save her husband from the revengeful merchant’s sons. Because she previously did such an effective job at being both a lion and a fox, she is able to have one step ahead of her opponents. “‘So we shall,’ they said. They unwound the turbans on the four men and they all saw the dog’s paw on their foreheads. The merchants’ guild was ashamed, and the king surprised”. (967) This part of the story shows that although Devasmita’s use of the lion concept and branding the men as dogs was not a part of the initial plan, her fox is able to step in and save the day. As a fox, Devasmita is able to quickly think and deceive the
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