The Recognition of Shakuntala is a story of how a young girl, Shakuntala falls in love with a King, King Dushyanta. The King runs into Shakuntala and her friends in the midst of a deer hunt. When Shakuntala first seen the king, she was instantly attracted to him. She felt butterflies in her stomach from just his presence, alone. The King was instantly attracted to her as well. He recited poetry about her continuously throughout Act One. “Her arms are tender shoots; her lips Are blossoms red and warm; Bewitching youth begins to flower; In beauty on her form.” He also states: “To beauty such as this; No woman could give birth; The quivering lightning flash; Is not a child of earth.” The King didn’t know of Shakuntala’s feelings for him until later. The King spoke to Shakuntala’s friend about her. He shows only a slight interest in Shakutala, as he listens to her friends, speak about her. He questions them about her background and asks if she’d be interested in marrying. The girls explain that she is and she is the daughter of Father Kavna and he must ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Kavna, gives the king the honor of marrying his daughter.
They soon get married and Shakuntala becomes pregnant. The king leaves back home, and plans to send for his newly wed bride, soon. Priyamvada and Anusuya don’t agree with the split, only because they fear the king will be guilty of infidelity, because of all the women that are present back home with him. Shakuntala, soon decides she is ready to leave. He farewell is long and hard, and bittersweet. She leaves and goes on her Journey to be with her new husband. When she gets there, he does not remember her. Durvasa, who has a very short temper, placed a curse, so that the king would not remember her. She tries to prove that she is his wife by showing him the ring he gave her, but she has misplaced it. The king decides to let her stay until she has birth to see the child. If the child has the royal birthmarks she will know that she is telling the truth. That plan fails and she is sent away. The king later discovers the ring, by a fisherman, the man explains that he finds it in the river. The king smells the ring, it smells like decaying fish. He realizes the fisherman is telling the truth, and Shakuntala was as well. But Shakuntala is gone, its too late. He later sees her and his son in Hindu Heaven and he recognizes her there.
The Protagonist of this play is Shakuntala. Initially she wants love and later she wants to prove to the king that she is truly his wife. The person that is most in the way of her wants is Durvasa. He has a short temper, and he got angry when Shakuntala did not welcome him in as a guest. She was too busy thinking about the King, and her love for him. He became angry and placed the curse on the king so that he wouldn’t remember her. The conflict is that the king does not remember her. He tells her that she may stay until the baby is born so that he may see if the baby is born with the royal birthmarks, but after the baby was born, he still did not trust that she was his wife. Shakuntala was still sent away in spite of him seeing the baby. The themes in the play are of love, and loyalty and power. I see a connection of this story with Christianity. God doesn’t like for anyone to put someone before him.
He doesn’t like for anyone to make false idols. I believe Shakuntala made the King an idol. In this sense I see Durvasa as God. He has so much power. He simply just wanted to be acknowledged by Shakuntala and she ignored him. All her attention was on the king. As they saying goes, “God is a jealous God, and if you idolize anyone they may be taken out of your life,” I see a strong connection with this story in with religion. My favorite part is the end. I love how he is still rewarded with being able to see his wife in son in Heaven. It shows that mistakes really ARE forgiven. My least favorite part of course is when he doesn’t believe that she is his wife. It really hurt to follow the character on this long journey and watch her life crumble. We seen her faith crumble piece by piece. I question if this story has anything to do with religion though? How has love changed today from this story? Is it any different?