The Ramayana

King Janaka Character Analysis

King Janaka is Sita's adoptive father and the king of Mithila. He cares deeply for Sita, and to protect her from possibly having to marry an unworthy man, he declares that any suitor must be able to string Shiva's bow, a massive bow and a family heirloom. Though he fears Sita might never marry because of this, he feels that he cannot go against his word and do away with the condition.

King Janaka Quotes in The Ramayana

The The Ramayana quotes below are all either spoken by King Janaka or refer to King Janaka. 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.
2. The Wedding Quotes

As time passed Janaka became anxious whether he would ever see his daughter married and settled—since the condition once made could not be withdrawn. No one on earth seemed worthy of approaching Shiva's bow. Janaka sighed. "I tremble when I think of Sita's future, and question my own judgment in linking her fate with this mighty, divine heirloom in our house."

Related Characters: King Janaka (speaker), Rama, Sita, Shiva, Viswamithra
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Ramayana quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire The Ramayana LitChart as a printable PDF.
The ramayana.pdf.medium

King Janaka Character Timeline in The Ramayana

The timeline below shows where the character King Janaka appears in The Ramayana. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Rama's Initiation
Heroism Theme Icon
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...Viswamithra explains that next they'll travel to Mithila City for a sacrifice performed by King Janaka, and he phrases it as a pleasant diversion for Rama. (full context)
2. The Wedding
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
At dawn, Rama prepares to meet King Janaka. At the assembly hall, Viswamithra introduces Rama and Lakshmana, and Janaka laments that Rama can't... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Viswamithra comforts Janaka and asks to see the bow. Janaka agrees and asks his army to fetch the... (full context)
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
Viswamithra counsels King Janaka to invite Dasaratha to Mithila for the wedding. Dasaratha is thrilled to receive the news... (full context)
3. Two Promises Revived
Heroism Theme Icon
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
...the assembly hall. Dasaratha mentions a few people to be omitted from this summons, including Janaka, Bharatha, and Bharatha's maternal grandfather. When everyone is assembled, Dasaratha speaks about his advancing age... (full context)