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.

Abstract views: 1409 times
PDF downloads: 676 times
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.