Rasa theory and the Garcia Lorca’s play  The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife

By Ravi Kumar

Before we go into the Rasa theory and its application on a Spanish Play, it is necessary on our part to understand few basic characteristics and differences of Indian literary tradition and Spanish literary tradition.Shakuntala

In this context, when we try  to analyse the Spanish literary tradition, we find huge gap in terms of literary concepts, theories and their perceptions.  For instance in simple terms, in Spain,  although there has been oral tradition of transmitting literary experience as we see in ‘jarchas , Menester de juglaria’ and ‘Menester de Clercia’, but it has either been for a very short period or has been taken over by its immediate literary tradition which present them in written form and enrich them with new characteristics and give way to new literary traditions when the older one fails to satisfy the purpose or the reasons. This is  contrary to Indian literary tradition where -The tradition is oral – which means texts are constituted and communicated as oral texts, and on account of their relative opacity of expression and conventions of abbreviation/ brevity make specific demands on readers.

Indian intellectual tradition is a continuous and cumulative tradition of thinkers, texts and conceptual theories in different areas of human thought and experience. It has been found that, primary texts, in spite of  widespread historical loss and  destruction, are still available in a number of intellectual fields – philosophy, medicine, grammar, architecture, geography, literary theory, polity, logic, astronomy, military, science, sociology, metallurgy, agriculture, mining and shipbuilding ( Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture 1958 – 1986 ).  We can find the reflection for these discipline from various traditional Indian disciplines like Darsana, Dharamasastras, Ayurveda, Vyakarana, Niti, Kavyasastra, Itihas – Puranas etc.

Throughout the history of literature in Spain it has been found that an individual human being is very important in a literary work and he is the centre around which nature, animal and other protagonists revolve and they are secondary.  Hence in Spanish literary tradition, we do not find literary creations like Vedas where human being is treated as merely a part of nature.  On the contrary, in Spain, we have epic like ‘Cantar del Mio Cid’, where El Cid is the hero who has been expelled from his city and who sets out to a distant land to fight back his honour and makes different types of heroism and finally returns to his land to get back his lost prestige.

When we talk of Spanish theatre, we find that in Spain staging of a play was restricted to aristocracy.  But later when Lopez de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderon de la Barca made it popular, it became part and parcel of the Spanish life.  But when we compare them with Indian tradition, we find in Spanish tradition dominance of reason and lack of emotions.  But this statement is not true for all.  There have been instances where emotions have played a great role, but the critics have ignored them or interpreted those aesthetics in terms of mere enjoyment, sorrow, pain, fear, loneliness, melancholy or sarcasm. They have been interpreted more in terms of structure, forms, rhetorics, rhythms, matrix rules, accents and syllables etc. Also, the Indian intellectual tradition is language centered.The Sabda ( Word ) is crucial and care is taken in all texts to define terms as precisely as possible. Thus the technical terms are almost interdisciplinary and at the same time they are ordinary language words. This tradition makes it a part of the people in its popular analogue –  the katha ( popular narrative ) tradition.

Keeping these few basic differences between the Spanish Intellectual tradition and Indian Intellectual Tradition in the background, I am putting my humble effort to apply Rasa theory-part of Indian literary tradition to one of Fedrico Garcia Lorca’s (1899-1936) plays “The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife”.

Accordingly the following points will be dealt in chronological order ;

I. Rasa Theory -

1. In context of different authors 2. Kapil Kapoor’s – Object of Knowledge3. Cosmological view 4. Structure of rasa – bhava II. Garcia Lorca ; His life and writings

III. Story of the selected play

IV. Appreciation of the theory V. Personal view

Rasa theory

Rasa theory is one of the oldest theories of  Indian literature. Its sources lie in the vedas. According to  Madhusudansastri, the Rasa school has clearly emerged in Vedic period : the word rasa was used to designate the special delight which an audience experienced in the course of watching a dramatic performance characterised by good art.  Bharatamuni himself has indicated that he drew rasa as an element of drama from Atharveda: rasanatharvanadapi. The Natyasastra of Bharatamuni contains the first major statement on rasa.  Manmohan Ghosh has argued that his great work was composed in the 5th century BC.  If that is so, the rasa theory must have been in existence a long time before 500 BC because Bharatamuni himself has cited many traditional verses coming down from generations.

In Natyasastra the rasa theory claims that the object or meaning that is sought to be conveyed in literary compositions is in the nature of an emotional effect of diverse human experience on man’s mind and heart.  It is possible, Bharata demonstrates, to enumerate the whole range of emotions, or states of being born of experience, and to analyse the structure of those emotions in terms of cause, physical correlate (effect) and their effect on man’s being.  The theory thus becomes in effect a theory  of literary experience which is strongly rooted in the empirical human reality.

Bharata, the first encounter of the theory, gives the most comprehensive analysis of its sources, nature and  its categories.  Subsequently, the theory found major commentators in Dhanika-Dhananjaya who re-examined Bharata’s typology of drama and added to it a typology of uparupakas, subplays, plays within plays, and one-act plays.  It is Abhinavagupta, however, who enriched the theory by elucidating its philosophic foundations and by analysing in depth the aesthetic dimension of the theory in terms of the nature, cognition and effect of literary experience.

The rasa theory has been accepted as the core literary theory by all major poeticians both before and after Abhinavagupta.  In particular, the discussion and analysis by Viswanatha, Pt. Jagananatha and Kapil Kapoor have contributed towards a more subtle understanding of this theory.

In its long history the rasa theory has faced and survived many challenges from rival schools.  As a result of interaction with other schols of literary criticism and study and exposition by scholars like Bhatta Lollata, Sankuka, Anandavardhana, Bhattanayaka, Bhoja, Abhinavagupta, Saradatanaya, Visvanatha and Jagannatha, the theory has undergone expansion and achieved a measure of flexibility which render it more comprehensive and adjustable than other theories.  Its basis in the psychology of poetic experience guarantees its universal validity, for poetry necessarily involves conversion of denotation and reference into connotation, and once we realise this fact, rasa theory appears to be the best approach to poetic meaning and poetic communication.

The term rasa has been variously translated into English.  Coomaraswamy prefers to call it ‘flavour’, but Manmohan Ghosh uses the word ‘sentiment’.   K.Krishnamoorthy also employs the same word.  Ganganatha Jha has translated it as ‘passion’.   Perhaps the best solution is not to translate it at all.  But if we must, it would be better to call it ‘aesthetic mood’, or for short, ‘mood’.  Whereas feelings and emotions when aroused by linguistic means are conditioned responses, moods are not, and this is also a fundamental aspect of rasa; rasa is based on conditioned responses, but in itself is something higher: we may call it unconditional or cultivated response. As regards its nature, the best analogy remains that of Bharatamuni who explains that the unique tase delicacy arises from coming together of many  ingredients each of which has its particular taste like conditioned response, but the taste of dish is different and of a higher order than that of each component. The analogy with cooking, which involves providing heat as well as expertise suggests, in addition to bhavas, poetic inspiration and poetic art.

The Rasa theory can be best understood from the explanations of Kapil Kapoor, Professor of English in Jawaharlal Nehru University,  who in his book “ Literary theory – Indian conceptual framework ” has described in detail various concepts related to Indian literature, its tradition and various theories and school of thoughts.  He describes literary experience as object of knowledge.

He tries to analyse the rasa theory in terms of understanding of veda – a source of  knowledge which is 1) referential, and 2) experiential and is not constituted like the sastra jnana-the reasoning mode. He justifies his statement by citing Bhamaha observation that  kavya makes jnana palatable and easy to grasp.  It does that by making ananda (or rasa) as the central literary experience. But what gives or creates ananda in a people is determined by the world-view of the people.  What do people cherish?  What gives them happiness?  What matters to them?  The literary aesthetics of a community suggests answers to these questions.

Aesthetics identifies the effect of art, its enjoyment, and seeks to explain or account for the ground of this enjoyment.  What gives enjoyment to audience has been designated by the word beauty, the element of beauty, in art. While referring to the contents of the beauty Kapoor says that the answers differ from one culture to another and produce differences in the aesthetics of communities.  The answers depend on the purposes of art in a society apart from the philosophy and the world-view of a community. Thus, for example, in the western world-view there has been a trend to extol reason at the expense of emotion and this inspite of Aristotle’s defence of emotions/feelings which according to Plato constitute the lower part of the soul.  But in Indian thought there has never been any doubt that the emotional content or aspect of atma has an intrinsic value, that at least some emotions have an element of beauty and that emotions soften harsher instincts of man. So in Indian literature, the states of mind, emotional states, bhavas, constitute the core aesthetic experience-art creates and communicates these states of mind, these dominant emotional states, and the reader/viewer/audience experiences these states of mind.  If the art/literary composition succeeds in giving enjoyment by evoking some state(s) of mind, then the work is aesthetically satisfactory.

Beauty in fact is secondary-the evocation and communication of a state of mind is judged successful if it moves the reader/hearer and affects him deeply, in which case the work of art is beautiful.  And what moves the people is, affects them deeply, is determined by their world view, their philosophy of life Cultural differences of various communities show in their respective aesthetics, in the kind of emotional / intellectual content that is claimed to have more beauty, i.e greater capacity, to move or affect the audience. Hence in Indian aesthetics this emotion is compassion ( karuna ), the selflessness of the human heart.

He further explains the difference between aesthetics and rhetoric – aesthetics  concerns the content of the literary experience , the aesthetics experience, while rhetoric deals with the modes of representing that experience. Rhetoric identifies and analyses the specific means employed to achieve the aesthetics goals. In Indian aesthetics , selflessness is beauty-human goodness, not necessarily ethical rightness, but a goodness of feeling and instincts.

In the Indian world-view, an important concept is that of rta ( Rgveda Heimann 1937 ) , order or balance or equipoise-individual, social and cosmological-which depends totally on impersonal activity.  There is an inherent cosmic order in the universe which holds all and everything together, “an immanent or dynamic order or inner balance of the cosmic manifestations themselves”. This cosmic order rejects the predominance of  human being and holds nature as major force. This world view determines the content and the aesthetics of literature. Beauty consists in inherent harmony, and all action is directed towards restoration of this harmony or balance ( order ), which is achieved when asuris vrittis ( sum of hypocrisy, violence of word, speech and act, anger, pride, arrogance, harshness, ignorance)  are subdued  by  daivi vrittis          ( freedom from malice, friendliness, compassion, freedom from egoism, contentment, non- violence, truthfulness, kindness to all creatures etc. ). Disturbance in this equipoise gives birth to action. The action that follows is an effort to overcome the disturbance and the action ceases, come to an end when a new harmonious order, a new equipoise is achieved.  And this is the structure of Indian narratives from  Ramayana to R. K Narayana’s fiction , for example his Financial Expert.

Turning to he structure of literary experience, rasa – bhava, once again Kapil Kapoor takes us to Kavya which because of its nature of knowledge imbued with rasa has been the subject of much discussion and that gives pleasure. The role or place of kavya in Indian  cultural community has been essentially one of delight-ananda.  But ananda does not mean “laughter” or gross pleasure-for ananda arises from a narrative deep grief as well.  It is that entertainment, delight or pleasure which comes from acquiring a certain kind of knowledge of human experience.  This knowledge is not the one in the sense that we teach or learn about human experience.  We acquire an (emotional ) understanding of life which comes to us through impressions or sansakaras that the experiences codified in a literary text leave on our self, or as some theorists say, that reconstitute our self-we recreate those states of mind in ourselves and the : knowledge” of a text in us is the knowledge of the emotional essence of experience. For making us understand this concept Kapil kapoor gives an  example of the story Grief- of Chekov-of the old cab driver who is so happy that his son has now become young and has started driving the cab, and he in his old age can sit back and rest-he does not have to work.  But only a few days pass and the son dies and the old cab driver is back in his cab, on the road.  And at that point the story begins.  He is shown sitting immobile in his cab-with the Moscow snow around and on him, enveloped by the evening light and the oncoming darkness-meditating on his grief.  Now this “immobility” is the anubhava, a kind of physical response to his grief.  Other cab drives are calling out to likely passengers but he is sitting immobile.  He wants to share his grief-so many passengers hire his cab-he tries to tell his story.  Nobody listens, no one has time for his, the other person’s grief.  Finally he unburdens himself, tells his story, to his horse.  Now if we read that story or hear that story, and if we don’t feel deep compassion for the old man, we cannot say that we have understood the story, i.e., grasped its meaning.

Hence experience in a literary composition, therefore, is a rasa- bhava structure – a structure of states of being. The argument is that Being is a configuration of sanskaras  (traces / impressions ) left by events ( involving necessarily persons) in the form of ‘emotional conditions / responses’. This theory of art experience rests on a non-opposition between ‘ emotion’ and ‘reason’, between the feeling self and reasoning self.  So, when we look into the analogue in the other traditions we have to remember that ‘ emotion’ is not an adequate equivalent of bhava, bhava means that which brings about being or existence , and also the ultimate meaning. Secondly bhava is not in opposition to intellection but a stage in total intellection. Also, rasa theory is more than a theory of aesthetics – it is structural analysis of the totality of human experience and behaviour, and is based in particular conception of experience, being knowledge and cognitive mechanism.

Structure of Rasa

The Rasa theory is built around the concept of bhava which is subdivided into vibhava, sthayibhava, sancaribhava, anubhava and sattvikabhava.  Rasa is the first of the eleven elements in literary representation and it is first or primary because : (1) it is rasa that renders all the elements (vibhava, etc.) sarthaka, meaningful and illumines the meanings of kavya; (2) in the absence of rasa, the purpose of the composition in the form of knowledge (of what to be involved in, from what to withdraw) is not fulfilled; and (3) it is rasa that creates ananda in the viewer/participant/reader.  Bhava is that which brings about a condition or which gets established (though what happens).  Derived from (abhu), bhava means an instrument of being.  It may be broadly translated as states of mind or emotional conditions or even emotional consequences of experience.  Bhava in amarkosha appears as a synonym of vidvan, and therefore incorporates in its denotation a notion of learning or what is learnt.

Bharata enumerates forty-nine bhavas ( Mentioned in the attached Figure 1 )  – it is a claim about the range of human experience.  Eight/nine of these are sthayi, relatively stable-stable because (1) springing from stronger causes, they tend to endure longer, (2) almost everyone experiences them, and (3) they are more frequent, are experienced again and again.  They are more powerful, more basic.  Compare grief, soka, for example, with dainya which may spring from more superficial causes.  These conditions/states become manifest in someone (asrayalambana) and are due to someone or a thing (visayalambana) and are to some extent determined by the circumstances of the event (uddipana).  Once a condition of being appears, the person begins to overtly behave in the given ways(anubhava).  But we are always richly afflicted-there is never one single emotion or condition.  What is more likely is that there is a dominant bhava in the midst of a number of ancillary emotions-the sancaribhavas.  This complex mental condition is correlated with certain forms of physical demeanour and behaviour in life, abhinaya.  The dominant bhava produces some inevitable physical effects, for example, fear leads to horripilation.  All these – sattvikabhavas, vibhavas, vyabhicaris(sancaribhavas), anubhavas and other visible manifestations(abhinaya)-when co-present together suggest/outline/evoke the sthayibhava.  In life the hearer/viewer of the sthayibhava, given the empathy, experiences the concomitant rasa though the attachment of his mind to the sthayibhava.  When all this complex event is enacted in a text or on stage, the reader/viewer similarly experiences rasa, depending upon his empathy and the success of representation/enactment .

This can be visualized directly with reference to Karuna Rasa , Compassion which takes form in the heart of those ( participant – viewers ) who experience feel the soka, grief, as manifest in an experience/performer (anukarta, nata).  A number of vibhavas, such as the death of a loved one, loss or misfortune, are the source of grief which is more or less intense according to the visaya, asraya and uddipana of the vibhava-a young son (than an infant), an old father, the only child, etc.  Once it appears in the heart, the grief deepens through other bhavas, for example, smrti and/or nirveda.  And this sthayibhava takes different visible, physical forms depending on the prakrti (uttama-madhyama-nimna or sattvika, rajas, tamas) of the karta (agent/experiencer).  This abhinaya (which includes anubhavas and sattvikabhavas) is the indicator of the sthayibhava.  An observer experiences the grief of the sufferer which is transmuted into karuna rasa in him.

Although there are different theories available on the total number of rasas, a widely accepted theory is that of Abhinavagupta in which he states that there are nine rasas in all which are accepted on the categorical ground that there are only nine sthayibhavas : because man is born endowed with only these many.  According to the metarule hater of sorrow (dukha) and immersed in the relish (asvadana) of pleasure (sukha), everyone

(1)  intrinsically seeks pleasure [this indicates rati](2)  laughs at others [this indicates hasa](3)  suffers on being separated from the loved ones [this indicates soka](4)  on account of that separation gets angry [this indicates krodha](5)  on account of helplessness is afraid [this indicates bhaya](6)  yearns to acquire or achieve something [this indicates utsaha](7)  is full of dislike for improper things [this indicates jugupsa](8)  is surprised at unexpected deeds of self and others [this indicates vismaya](9)  has the urge to give up/renounce [this indicates nirveda]…. no human being is born without these cittavrttis (tendencies of the thinking/feeling self), the only difference is that some have more of one and some have less.  In some people, these tendencies relate to  proper objects, in others, to the opposite.

Garcia Lorca  ( 1898 – 1936 )

Born in Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, Spain, June 5,1898; died near Granada, August 19,1936, Garcia Lorca is Spain’s most deeply appreciated and highly revered poet and dramatist. His murder by the Nationalists at the start of the Spanish civil war brought sudden international fame, accompanied by an excess of political rhetoric which led a later generation to question his merits; after the inevitable slump, his reputation has recovered (largely with a shift in interest to the less obvious works). He must now be bracketed with MACHADO as one of the two greatest poets Spain has produced this century, and he is certainly Spain’s greatest dramatist since the Golden Age.

As a poet, his early reputation rested on the Romancero gitano (Madrid, 1928; tr. R. Humphries, The Gypsy Ballads of Garcia Lorca, Bloomington, 1953), the poems of Poema del Cante Jondo (Madrid, 1931), and Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (Madrid, 1935; tr. A. L. Lloyd, in Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter, and Other Poems, London, 1937), all profoundly Andalusian, richly sombre in their mood and imagery, and disquieting in their projection of a part-primitive, part-private world of myth moved by dark and not precisely identifiable forces; but, beneath the flamenco trappings, there is a deeper – perhaps personal – anguish, as well as a superb rhythmical and linguistic sense (the Llanto is one of the four best elegies in the Spanish language). Critical interest has since shifted to the tortured, ambiguous and deliberately dissonant surrealist poems of Poeta en Nueva York (Mexico City, 1940; tr. B. Belitt, Poet in New York, London, 1955), and to the arabesque casidas and gacelas of Divein de Tamarit (NY, 1940). An early major anthology in English is Poems (tr. S. Spender & J. L. Gili, London, 1939).

As a dramatist, early romantic pieces with social implications such as Mariana Pineda (Madrid, 1928; tr. J. GrahamLuidn & R. L. O’Connell in Collected Plays, London, 1976) and the comic invention of La zapatera prodigiosa (first performed 1930, amplified 1935, pub. Buenos Aires, 1938; The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife in Collected Plays) established him in the public eye, while his fostering of popular theatre gave him a left-wing reputation which contributed to his death (although his homosexuality also made him a target).His most important plays are his rural tragedies : Bodas de Sangre ( 1933 ), Yerma ( 1934 ), and La Casa de Bernarda Alba which has gained him international fame. Garcia Lorca and his play……

The play “The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife” is a story of a family-an old husband and a young wife.  The husband is a shoemaker aged 53 and the wife is a housewife aged 18.  The shoemaker is always busy in his work, his wife being too young has lofty romantic ideas of roaming around with young people.  She always curses her husband for his old age and tells him about her boyfriend Emiliano who was like a hero and he used to ride a black mare covered with tassels and mirrors.  On hearing this, the shoemaker becomes furious and explains her that he too was once eighteen years old and used to ride mare. He reminds her of her poverty and tells that he has saved her from perishing as she would have not survived without a dress or a home.  These heated talks go into the ears of the neighbors, who frequently visit his house, sometimes passing comments on the shoemaker and sometimes on his wife, that provokes them to continue further heated arguments.

The shoemaker tries to convince her time and again to accept him the way he is and tries to convince her to stop daydreaming.  But she refuses to do so and flirts around standing on her window with passersby.  Naturally, she becomes the talk of the village and the shoemaker remembers his sister who had advised him to get married at old age to avoid loneliness and he blames her for this situation.  Finally one day after getting abused from his wife, he leaves the house and goes far away.  When she comes to know about this, she refuses to believe it.  But she then realises that he has really left the house and she is disturbed.  For her living she opens a tavern in the house.

Many people come, they try to win over her confidence and make love with her, but she refuses to surrender and sticks to her dignity. But the neighbours and the villagers continue to make stories and ballads on her and that she comes to know everything through a boy whom she likes a lot.  One day a puppeteer comes to her house and tells the similar kind of story which she had gone through.  He is able to arouse her feelings and he discovers that she still loves her husband although he was old.  She adores him and is eagerly waiting for his return.  He also finds that in absence of her husband she has suffered a lot and may be that such suffering has forced her to put an end to her romantic ideas. After discovering all this he suddenly removes his glasses and the disguise and embraces her. The wife looks at him intently in this critical moment.  The amazed wife finds that the man in disguise was none than her husband and again starts shouting at him and calls him loafer, scoundrel, rascal, villain.  But this time the words which she utters are not actually meant to abuse him but they are expression of her suffering, excitement, complaint and pleasure. She is moved with happiness, so is the crowd which has come to watch the play.

Rasa theory and the play :

At the beginning the receptor gets irritated because of her rude behaviour and not being an understanding wife, but later in absence of her husband when she establishes her full faith and devotion to her husband, she is able to develop some respect and finally the sufferings that she had gone through in absence of her husband develops dainya amongst the receptor. And once the receptor finds that she finally meets her husband that dainya turns into karuna experience.

Now in this context, while applying the Rasa theory, I will try to identify the bhavas in the play and then try to explain how those bhavas turn into experiences of rasa in viewer/participant/reader.

In the beginning of the play (pg. 62-63) the way in which a boy enters in the house of the lady with fear, it gives way to identification of two bhavas : first, the boy (karta) is frightened (bhaya) and second, he is frightened because he has an impression that the lady gets angry (krodha)  very easily.  These two bhavas in turn are experienced by him as  lady being terrifying (bhayanak) and wrathful (raudra).  Hence, the observer experiences the feeling of the boy which is transmitted into bhayanak and raudra experince ( opinion about the lady) in him.

Now (pg.65) the man after getting irritated from the talks of his wife who is least understanding is disgusted (jugupsa) and the same is true with the wife who is disgusted with her husband because he is old and pays no attention to her beauty.  The man in a way experiences odio (vibhatsa) for her and so does the wife.

(pg. 73) As usual the wife is busy flirting (love, rati) with passersby, she starts talking to one of them ( Don Black Bird) ignoring the impatient husband.  Don Black Bird flatters her by telling that she the heart of an almond and that she is beautiful and temptress of his heart.  Her beauty (rati) results in erotic (sringara) experiences for the performer/viewer.  And he leaves the window promising  her that he would  return in the  evening.  She gets angry (krodha)  and tells him to go away.

(Pg. 75) The old man gets so much frustrated that he decides to leave the house to never come back again, that means he renounces his wife to get away from the daily routine of frustration that he experiences (santa – tranquility) in her absence only.

(Pg. 78) When she discovers that her husband has left the house forever she is terrified (bhaya due to helplessness) and expresses the astonishment (vismaya and soka).  The boy is afraid on seeing her expressions (bhaya).  Here one point can be noticed that for the boy the expressions of the lady are experienced in terms of terror (bhayanak).  But on the other hand, the receptor of this abhinaya experiences the grief of the sufferer which is transmuted in karuna rasa.  Hence here we find that anubhuti of rasa is totally dependent on sanskara which comes through knowledge of human experience.

(Pg. 85) After her husband has left, the lady opens a tavern to earn her living.  Different kinds of people come and go, some try to win over her, frighten her, but none of them understands her suffering, they do not understand that she is in soka and that she longs for her husband to come back.  This situation is interpreted by her neighbours as a mockery (hasa) and they experience it as hasya (cosmic) and make different ballads in her name.  But at the same time the viewer/receptor interprets, understands and experiences her soka and longing in the form of  compassion that develops into karuna for her.

(Pg. 89) One day a puppeteer (shoemaker in disguise) comes to her tavern  and repeats the same story which she had gone through.  He is able to arouse her feelings.  She expresses her devotion towards the husband and says that she adores him and is waiting for his return (utsaha). On hearing this, the puppeteer (shoemaker in disguise) reveals his identity (Pg. 103 )  with enthusiasm (utsaha).  She looks at him with utter surprise (vismaya) and experiences adbhut ananda and starts shouting at him and calls him a loafer, scoundrel, rascal, villain. She does so not because she wants to show her anger but because she loves ( rati ) him and that she has suffered cherishing that love.  Here the shoemaker is moved by her sringara and the receptor experiences deep compassion (karuna).

Here in context of this play of Fedrico Garcia Lorca, we find the Rasa theory explaining all different forms of ananda that a receptor takes after the text has been dramatized. For that the , strictly speaking there is no rasa ouside the natya. And that in this play there is use of dialogue, interior monologue, personification, historic present, vivid imaginary and other dramatic devices which makes it more near to the receptor which helps the receptor to take anand and experience aesthetic experience. And that in this play Karuna rasa has played vital role which is the chief source of appeal to the modern man. Karuna has soka as its sthayibhava which develops from vibhavas such as seperation  from the loved one. As we see the Shoemaker leaves her wife never to return and her wife suffers a lot and she repents for her deeds. She continues her longing          ( soka ) for her husband , once he returns the experience of karuna is felt and the harmony that was disturbed once again is restored and the story end.


1. Ghosh Manmohan, Translation Bharata’s  Natyasastra

2. Jha, Ganganatha, Translation, Kavyaprakash. revised edition, Bhartiya Vidya Prakashan,1985

3.Kapoor, Kapil, “Literary theory ; Indian Conceptual Framework”, Affiliated East -West Press Private Limited, 1998.

4.Kapoor, Kapil, “Theory of Novel : Indian View” , Indian Response to Critical Theory, Creative Publishers, 1996

5.Olson, Tragedy and the theory of Drama, Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1961 6.Sharma, R.S, Indian response to T.S Eliot; Potentialities and Direction, Atlantic Publishers,1994

7.Sharma, R.S , “Rasa Theory and the Poetry of T.S Eliot” , Indian Response to Critical Theory,Creative Publishers, 1996

8.Shastri P.S, Plot and Rasa in a Lyric, Indian Response to Critical Theory, Creative Publishers,1996

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