Shakuntala

by

Kalidasa

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Bees

In Shakuntala, bees primarily symbolize erotic attraction, particularly the fleeting, teasing touch of flirtation. In the Prologue, for instance, the actress sings an erotic song in which blossoms are “gently brushed by black woodland…

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Deer

In the early part of the play, deer symbolize innocence, especially Shakuntala’s sheltered innocence, while the pursuit of deer symbolizes the King’s romantic appetites (and the taming of those appetites). The play opens…

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Trees

Throughout the play, trees often symbolize fertility and beauty. Because Shakuntala has spent her life lovingly tending the hermitage trees, she thinks of them like “sisters,” and their allure is often associated with her own…

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