Shakuntala and the Ring of Recollection Essay

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Nature's Role in Shakuntala and the Ring of Recollection The utilization of nature in its many forms is not difficult to find in most Indian and Hindu writings, especially those of fiction. Every type of nature from what we can see up close, like flowers and trees, to what we observe from far away, the sun and moon, is used. Nature is used to provide background, it is used in poetry, and sometimes even personified. Nature takes on different roles in different plays, but here in Shakuntala and the Ring of Recollection, nature functions as an object of desire – its beauty and perfection is held in great respect, not simply to describe the setting. The upholding of respect to the parts of nature is exemplified through comparisons of beauty and intelligence to different things found within nature. Shakuntala is related to nature both by the author, in the story-line, and also by King Dusyanta who compares her figure to those of bodies found in nature. In this play, Shakuntala's connection to aspects of nature is pronounced, which is truly different from just comparing her body to the beauty found in the physical world. In doing so, Kalidasa gives Shakuntala a personal connection with various plants and animals. This emphasis of not only her physical beauty but also her relationship to nature, the readers establish a greater sense of respect for Shakuntala – similar to the great respect for nature itself that is expressed in these types of writings. In Act 1, we discover Shakuntala's intimate relationship with the trees in the hermitage. She expresses a passionate emotion toward the trees which enables her to communicate with them. Comparing her love for them to the affection she would share with someone as close as a sister, she tells her friends, “The new branches on this mimosa tree are like fingers moving in the wind, calling to me. I must go to it!” (Kalidasa

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