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epicsessay14

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 7 years, 10 months ago

 

LIST OF CHARACTERS FOR WEEK 14:

 

Duryodhana
Traditional Essay Option: What aspects of Duryodhana's character do you see in the moments leading up to his death, after he loses the fight with Bhima? In what ways does Duryodhana seem the same as he always has? Does he seem different in any way? Is there anything that surprises or impressed you about the way that Duryodhana meets his death? What are the strongest character traits that you see as Duryodhana reaches the end of his life?
or
Creative Writing + Analysis Option: Duryodhana orders Kripa to make Aśwatthaman his general, even though the battle is over. What are the thoughts that go through Duryodhana's mind as this ritual is performed? What thoughts does he have about the past? What thoughts does he have about the future? What does Duryodhana think about Aśwatthaman at this very moment? What are the specific thoughts and images that he has in his mind as Kripa pours the water over Aśwatthaman to designate him as the general of Duryodhana's non-existent armies? After you finish the description of Duryodhana's thoughts, provide an explanation of the character traits of Duryodhana that you were trying to emphasize in your description.

 

Aśwatthaman
Traditional Essay Option: Who is Aśwatthaman? What contribution does this character make in general throughout the epic? What is his special contribution here at the end of the battle? What kind of son is he to his father? What kind of ally is he to Duryodhana? What is the overall impression that you have of Aśwatthaman based on what you have read in both Narayan's and Buck's versions of the Mahabharata?
or
Creative Writing + Analysis Option: When Aśwatthaman first comes to raid the camp, he challenges Śiva, and cannot enter, but he then makes himself a "sacrifice to Śiva" and is able to go into the camp. Using your imagination, develop this scene in more detail. What does Aśwatthaman see before him? What does he think? How does he feel? How does he decide to make himself a sacrifice to the god? What does this entail exactly? How does Aśwatthaman experience his own sacrifice to the god? After you finish the description, provide an explanation of the character traits of Aśwatthaman that you tried to bring out in this scene.

 

Sanjaya
Traditional Essay Option: Unlike Narayan's version of the story, Buck's version gives you a great deal of detail about what Sanjaya experiences on the battlefield as he goes about serving as the "eyes" of Dhritarashtra. What kind of relationship does Sanjaya have to Dhritarashtra his king? What kind of relationship does he have to Duryodhana? What did you learn about Sanjaya from his own account of the battle both in this week's reading and last week? What impression do you have of Sanjaya as a character?
or
Creative Writing + Analysis Option: Buck notes that Sanjaya is the person who was with Duryodhana when he died, and at the moment of Duryodhana's death Sanjaya lost his supernatural power of sight. Have Sanjaya narrate this scene in his own words, speaking with Duryodhana at the moment that he dies, and speaking his own thoughts aloud after Duryodhana's death. Make sure you describe in detail just what it is that Sanjaya experiences when he loses the power of supernatural sight: how do you imagine that happened and how would Sanjaya explain that to himself? After you finish the description, provide an explanation of the character traits of Sanjaya that you tried to bring out in this scene.

 

Dhritarashtra
Traditional Essay Option: Like Narayan, Buck includes the story of how Dhritarashtra crushed the statue of Bhima, and Buck also includes the story of how Gandhari's curse fell on Yudhishthira. Provide an analysis of Dhritarashtra's character as you see it revealed after the battle. What does Dhritarashtra expect to find on the battle field? Why has he come there? What does he need to do? What role can and does Dhritarashtra have in the story now that the great battle is over? You might want to compare and contrast the situations of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari at this point, and in general the role of the men and the women mourners after the battle.
or
Creative Writing + Analysis Option: Tell a version of Dhritarashtra and the statue of Bhima based on the thoughts that go through Dhritarashtra's mind as he experiences this scene. What does he think as he grasps the statue? What does it feel like to crush the statue, and still think that he has crushed Bhima? Make sure you include the dialogue where he is told that he has not killed Bhima after all. What thoughts and feelings does he have when he realizes what has actually happened? You might also include the thoughts and feelings of Gandhari as well, as she realizes what is happening. After you tell your story, don't forget to include some analysis of Dhritarashtra's character as you see it revealed in this scene.

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