Roll No. 55
Kalidas("servant of Kali"
) was a
Classical Sanskrit writer,
widely regarded as the
greatest poet and dramatist in
the Sanskrit language. His
floruit cannot be dated with
precision, but most likely falls
within the 5th century CE.
His plays and poetry are
primarily based on the Hindu
Puranas and Hindu
• Abhigyan Shakuntalam (Devanagari:
), is a well-known Sanskrit play by Kalidas ,
dramatizing the story of Shakuntala told in the epic
Mahabharata. It is considered to be the best of
Kalidasa's works. Its date is uncertain, but Kalidasa is
often placed in the period between the 1st century
BCE and 4th century CE.
• The Sanskrit title means "pertaining to tokenrecognized-Shakuntala", so a literal translation could
be Of shakuntala who is recognized by a token. The
title is sometimes translated as The Recognition of
Shakuntala or The Sign of Shakuntala.
nicknamed Alltamer, his son
foster child of
Although Kalidasa makes some minor changes to the plot, the play elaborates upon an episode
mentioned in the Mahabharata. The protagonist is Shakuntala, daughter of the sage
Vishwamitra and the apsara Menaka. Abandoned at birth by her parents, Shakuntala is reared
in the secluded, sylvan hermitage of the sage Kanva, and grows up a comely but innocent
While Kanva and the other elders of the hermitage are away on a pilgrimage, Dushyanta, king
of Hastinapura, comes hunting in the forest and chances upon the hermitage. He is captivated
by Shakuntala, courts her in royal style, and marries her. He then has to leave to take care of
affairs in the capital. She is given a ring by the king, to be presented to him when she appears
in his court. She can then claim her place as queen.
The anger-prone sage Durvasa arrives when Shakuntala is lost in her fantasies, so that when
she fails to attend to him, he curses her by bewitching Dushyanta into forgetting her existence.
The only cure is for Shakuntala to show him the signet ring that he gave her.
She later travels to meet him, and has to cross a river. The ring is lost when it slips off her hand
when she dips her hand in the water playfully. On arrival the king refuses to acknowledge her.
Shakuntala is abandoned by her companions, who return to the hermitage.
Fortunately, the ring is discovered by a fisherman in the belly of a fish, and Dushyanta realises
his mistake - too late. The newly wise Dushyanta defeats an army of Asuras, and is rewarded
by Indra with a journey through the Hindu heaven. Returned to Earth years later, Dushyanta
finds Shakuntala and their son by chance, and recognizes them.
• In other versions, especially the original one found in
the Mahabharata, Shakuntala is not reunited until her
son Bharata is born, and found by the king playing
with lion cubs. Dushyanta enquires about his parents
to young Bharata and finds out that Bharata is indeed
his son. Bharata is an ancestor of the lineages of the
Kauravas and Pandavas, who fought the bloody war
of the Mahabharata. It is after this Bharata that India
was given the name "Bharatadesam", the 'Land of
the Bharata'. However, Kalidasa's version is now
taken to be the standard one.
• It is a very nice love story.
• All the characters are described with precision.
• Beginning to middle, story is awesome but end is little
bit unfeasible in book’s story. While in original one,
End is also tremendous.
• Purity and piousness of the hearts of both Dushyanta
and Shakuntala are described very nicely.
• Courage of Bharat is also described very fantastically by
describing him playing with lions’ cubs.
At last, I conclude this by saying one sentence…that
“Even a curse can also be diminished
by a true love”