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Research Article | Volume 2 Issue 1 (Issue January, 2021)
Understanding Tagore’s Chitrangada in a Feminist Framework: A Tale of Glorification or Mortification?
Assistant Professor of Economics M.U.C. Women’s College, Burdwan, West Bengal, India 713104
Under a Creative Commons license
Open Access
Feb. 28, 2021
Rabindranath Tagore in his dance drama Chitrangada has recreated the anecdote of Chitrangada from Vyas’s epic Mahabharata. The opera happens to be one of finest musical masterpieces of Tagore. However, Tagore has used much liberty in the depiction of Chitrangada which may be justified as poetic freedom. However in his attempt to preach feminism and portray her as the epitome of empowerment, he has demeaned her at the same time. Vyas’s Chitrangada appears to be a stronger feminist than Tagore’s. While Vyas depicts her as an all-throughout bold, brave, just, empowered and an upright woman, Tagore too paints the same picture, but leads her into a journey from empowerment to temporary disillusionment that debases her original self. This does more harm than good to her image. However, in the end Tagore elevates not only her, but all women by preaching gender-equality and self-awakening through Chitrangada’s self-realization in the form of the song “Ami Chitrangada” (I am Chitrangada). Despite all the mortification, Tagore’s glorification of Chitrangada using the single song stands out in the drama and becomes the hallmark of feminism in Bengali literature.
Rabindranath Tagore
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