The Ramayana

Hanuman Character Analysis

Hanuman is a monkey who initially serves Sugreeva. In his childhood, Hanuman's father told Hanuman to dedicate his life to serving Vishnu. Hanuman is the first monkey to realize that Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu, and in following his father's instructions, Hanuman becomes one of Rama's most trusted and loyal advisers. He's also an excellent judge of character; he correctly judges Vibishana, Ravana's brother, as being loyal to Rama's cause. Hanuman is also extremely powerful, though he's unaware of his powers for much of the story. When Hanuman is reminded of his great power, he finds he's capable of growing to a massive size and can step over the ocean in one step. He's tasked with finding Sita in Lanka, and keeps Sita from committing suicide out of despair. When Rama is finally crowned king in Ayodhya, Hanuman chooses to stay with Rama and serve him.

Hanuman Quotes in The Ramayana

The The Ramayana quotes below are all either spoken by Hanuman or refer to Hanuman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Ramayana published in 2006.
10. Across the Ocean Quotes

"After all, one who seeks asylum must be given protection. Whatever may happen later, it is our first duty to protect."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Hanuman, Vibishana
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hanuman Character Timeline in The Ramayana

The timeline below shows where the character Hanuman appears in The Ramayana. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
6. Vali
Heroism Theme Icon
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
Rama and Lakshmana enter Kiskinda while searching desperately for Sita. Hanuman, the helper of Kiskinda's king, Sugreeva, watches them enter. He assumes the form of a... (full context)
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Hanuman bows at Rama's feet, though Rama insists that a scholar shouldn't do that. Hanuman explains... (full context)
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Hanuman says that Sugreeva's brother, Vali, long ago won immeasurable strength. He also has the power... (full context)
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This story moves Rama, and he offers Sugreeva his help. Hanuman and Sugreeva speak privately, and Hanuman says that he believes that Rama is an incarnation... (full context)
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...and faints. Sugreeva promises to find Sita. Rama laments that he let Sita down, but Hanuman and Sugreeva begin to engage Rama in plans to find Sita. (full context)
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Hanuman says that they must first do away with Vali so that Sugreeva can be crowned... (full context)
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...to others that Sugreeva brought about Vali's salvation, not just his death. He then offers Hanuman to serve Rama, and tells Sugreeva to serve Rama. Vali names Sugreeva his successor. The... (full context)
7. When the Rains Cease
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Hanuman insists on staying with Rama, but Rama tells Hanuman to remain with Sugreeva and counsel... (full context)
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...that he never leaves it. Angada tries to rouse Sugreeva, but he's unshakable. Angada fetches Hanuman and Tara and asks them for help. Tara angrily yells that they've all forgotten their... (full context)
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Lakshmana kicks the gates open and begins the march to the palace. Seeing this, Hanuman asks Tara to go speak to Lakshmana, knowing that Lakshmana won't harm Tara. Tara and... (full context)
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Hanuman hesitantly comes out to join Lakshmana and Tara. Lakshmana asks Hanuman if he forgot his... (full context)
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...He asks Sugreeva to begin a search for Sita immediately. Sugreeva begs forgiveness and instructs Hanuman to bring the armies to Rama's home when they arrive. (full context)
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...him with open arms. Sugreeva is self-critical, but Rama brushes this aside. Sugreeva explains that Hanuman will come soon with an army, and Rama sends Sugreeva back to the city. Lakshmana... (full context)
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...too long. Sugreeva calls the commanders to each search in a different direction. Sugreeva gives Hanuman and Angada special directions to go south, explaining the terrain they'll encounter. Rama takes Hanuman... (full context)
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Hanuman and Angada travel south with an army. They search and search and eventually find themselves... (full context)
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Hearing Jatayu's name, a grotesque and massive being approaches the group of monkeys. Hanuman challenges the being, but the being cries and introduces himself as Sampathi, Jatayu's older brother.... (full context)
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...and the monkeys discuss how to cross the ocean. One of the advisors turns to Hanuman and explains that Hanuman has been cursed to forget how powerful he is, and says... (full context)
8. Memento From Rama
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When Hanuman has both feet in Lanka, he shrinks to a small size and begins looking into... (full context)
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Hanuman peeks into Ravana's palace and doesn't see Sita there, so he continues his search. He... (full context)
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...and then leave her alone. Sita, distraught, prepares to hang herself from a tree, but Hanuman cautiously approaches her and tells her who he is and what Rama's been doing. He... (full context)
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Before leaving Lanka, Hanuman makes himself monstrously large and destroys parts of Lanka. Hanuman then allows Ravana's son, Indrajit,... (full context)
9. Ravana in Council
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...able to subjugate the gods forever, and insists that Ravana should worry about Rama and Hanuman, since Ravana's downfall is supposed to come from a monkey. Finally, Vibishana implores Ravana to... (full context)
10. Across the Ocean
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...for asylum, and a messenger interrogates Vibishana. With the messenger's information, Rama meets with Sugreeva, Hanuman, and other advisors to decide what to do with Vibishana. Sugreeva insists that they shouldn't... (full context)
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Rama decides to trust Hanuman's assessment of Vibishana's character. Rama says that his duty is to offer protection to those... (full context)
11. The Siege of Lanka
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...then decides to join the battle himself. Lakshmana faints at the sight of Ravana, but Hanuman lifts Rama onto his shoulders and they attack Ravana. Rama severely wounds Ravana and breaks... (full context)
12. Rama and Ravana in Battle
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...special powers. Rama wonders aloud if the rakshasas sent Matali as a trap, but both Hanuman and Lakshmana insist that the chariot is real. Rama gathers his weapons and climbs into... (full context)
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Rama, Lakshmana, and Hanuman gather around Ravana's body. Rama notices a huge scar on Ravana's back and begins to... (full context)
13. Interlude
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Rama sends Hanuman to fetch an overjoyed Sita. Hanuman instructs Sita to dress herself beautifully before meeting Rama,... (full context)
14. The Coronation
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...and fly towards Ayodhya. They make several stops along the way and finally, Rama sends Hanuman to go ahead and tell Bharatha that he's coming. (full context)
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...to step into a fire like Sita did. Sathrugna tries to dissuade his brother, but Hanuman arrives just in time to tell Bharatha that Rama is on his way. Hanuman explains... (full context)
Epilogue
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...that Rama entered Ayodhya and picked up right where he left off 14 years earlier. Hanuman and Sugreeva took on human forms and were treated as honored guests. Even Kaikeyi had... (full context)
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The narrator reminds the reader that when he was young, Hanuman had been told to dedicate his life to Vishnu, which he did. The narrator says... (full context)