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Dying on the Stage in the Nāṭyaśāstra and Kūṭiyāṭṭam: Perspectives from the Sanskrit Theatre Tradition

Sullivan, Bruce M. (2007) Dying on the Stage in the Nāṭyaśāstra and Kūṭiyāṭṭam: Perspectives from the Sanskrit Theatre Tradition. Asian Theatre Journal, 24 (2). pp. 422-439. ISSN 1527-2109

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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/atj.2007.0041

Abstract

The Sanskrit theatre tradition of India has often been regarded as avoiding, even prohibiting, depiction of death on the stage. This article argues that death was both threatened and enacted on the stage, and has always been integral to the Sanskrit theatre tradition, as seen to the present day in Kerala's Kūṭiyāṭṭam tradition. The apparent conflict between "rules" from the Nāṭyaśāstra, the normative text for theatre, and actual dramas is examined, and the surprisingly large number of references in the Nāṭyaśāstra to dramatic uses of death are discussed. For the audience member, seeing depictions of or threats of deaths on the stage can be a significant component of the Indic theatrical experience.

Item Type: Article
ID number or DOI: 10.1353/atj.2007.0041
Keywords: bhasa; DRAMA; INDIA; KUDIYATTAM; 'mahabharata'; NATYASASTRA (Book); PERFORMING arts -- Production & direction; SANSKRIT drama; THEATER; THEATER -- India; 'urubhanga'
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Arts and Letters > Comparative Cultural Studies
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 16:25
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/361

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