The Role of Comedy: The scene where the ring is found again is rather slapstick. How does this compare to the mood in the rest of the play, and why do you think Kalidasa would have chosen to put the finding in a scene of this kind?
The ring basically symbolizes a great matter about the connection that Sakuntala and Dushyanta have between each other. The lost of Dushyanta’s memory on who his wife was just because of the ring specifically insists on the lesser concern that the man had on the woman [although this was rather a representation of relative distinction of the Hindu’s belief on the effect of deities on the lives of people].
Finding the ring through a fisherman which specifically brings back the memory of the royalty was rather considered a sense of comedic part of the story. Rather a sense of irony, a royalty looses something while a commoner takes the chance to seek its worth without even hoping for anything in return. This specifically distinctively insists on the difference of social classes the people involved belonged to; notably, this means that they also give attention to different matters. Apparently, for Dushyanta, although he was a royalty, lacked a sense of recognition even upon knowing his own wife, signaling that for those who may have so much, they may have lesser attention on things that matter to those who own less, although these matters are rather important in the ‘real life’.
Karma: Consider the ending of the play. It seems to be a happy ending, after everything has gone on. Can this ending be read as karma?
Dushyanta is considered a good man, so as Sakuntala is noted as a truly good individual. Relatively though, they make wrong decisions along the way. This insists on the fact that even royalties make mistakes and that they are in no sense able to avoid the nature of humans when it comes to making wrong decisions and other matters as such.
Having a son, Bharata, without even knowing it, makes Dushyata specifically weak when it comes to giving attention to matters happening around him. Apparently, being a royalty does not guarantee his being able to seek out the most important elements occurring around him. Sincerity, although it was specific attitude of Dushyata, it did not help him enough to be specifically be a good role model when it comes to becoming a father and a husband.
Having both his wife and son back to him could then be considered as a sense of good karma. Although he did have some shortcomings along the way, his past of being a good person overall, allowed him to find favor in the eyes of the deities. The second chance that was apparently given to him was nothing more than just the same as that of the one given to simple individuals who made mistakes in their lives.
People make mistakes. Although Dushyata is indeed a royalty, the situation that was presented in the story of Sakuntala points out the realities about human nature and how specific conditions of thinking make it easier for humans to live through live. Even after making several mistakes, some people find ‘destiny’ to be rather good to them therefore giving them better chances to fix the situations they are involved in thus creating better environments for themselves and the people living around them. The same is true when it comes to the situation of Dushyata and the connection that he has formed with Sakuntala, which was rather recognized by the deities accordingly.
Dorothy Matilda Figueira (1991), Translating the Orient: the reception of Śākuntala in nineteenth century Europe, SUNY Press.
Hillyer Levitt . (2005), “Why Are Sanskrit Play Titles Strange?”, Indologica Taurinensia: 195–232.
Film Reference: Slapstick. http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Romantic-Comedy-Yugoslavia/Slapstick-Comedy.html. (Retrieved on September 22, 2013).
Sukumari, Bhattacharji. (2003). History of Classical Sanskrit Literature, Sangam Books, London.