Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Kalidasa's Shakuntala. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Shakuntala: Plot Summary
Shakuntala: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Shakuntala: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Kalidasa
Historical Context of Shakuntala
Other Books Related to Shakuntala
- Full Title: The Recognition of Shakuntala
- When Written: 4th-5th century
- Where Written: Northern India
- Literary Period: Classical Indian
- Genre: Play
- Setting: The Himalayan foothills
- Climax: Shakuntala and King Dusyanta recognize one another in Act VII
- Antagonist: Durvasas’s curse
- Point of View: Third-person omniscient
Extra Credit for Shakuntala
Faust and Shakuntala. The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was so taken with Shakuntala, newly introduced in Europe in the 1700s, that he adapted its Prologue when writing his own play, Faust.
Language mix. In the play, Kalidasa actually employs a mixture of languages—Classical Sanskrit and Prakrit, a related but relatively unsystematic collection of popular dialects. Sanskrit is primarily spoken by the educated, upper-class male characters in the play; Prakrit is spoken by female characters and lower-class male characters.