Girish Karnad's Hayavadana - A Setting for Sacred and Profane

  • R Kalidasan Associate Professor of English (Retd.), The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • R K Jaishree Karthiga Assistant Professor, Department of English, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Multiplex Play, Traditional Theatre, Epic Theatre, Alienation Effect, hybridity, Sacred and Profane, transposition of heads, Goddess Kali


Hayavadana, a multiplex play, offers various binary themes for discussion. By combining the indigenous Yakshagana and the western Brechtian Epic theatre practices, Girish Karnad has created a unique theatre display, presenting it as a social and religious satire that point to the persistent pursuit of the humanity to achieve perfection. The plot and the sub-plot of the play get interlocked by raising questions on identity and the nature of reality. The dramatist intentionally effects a dynamic communication between the audience and the performance, noting that the audience too are not separate from such an existential predicament. This Verfremdungseffekt or the “alienation effect”, is achieved through a number of devices. One such device, apart from the folk-theatre motifs, is the philosophical survey of the concepts, ‘Sacred’ and the ‘Profane’. This paper ventures to show how these concepts add further investigation of the play.

How to Cite
Kalidasan, R., & Jaishree Karthiga, R. K. (2019). Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana - A Setting for Sacred and Profane. Shanlax International Journal of English, 7(4), 57-61.