The Ramayana

Soorpanaka Character Analysis

Soorpanaka is Ravana's demoness sister. Though her demon form is horrific, with long fangs, a distended belly, and wild hair, she's also capable of assuming the form of a beautiful woman. She falls madly in love with Rama and consequently becomes extremely jealous of Sita. When she won't leave Rama alone, Lakshmana cuts off her ears, nose, and breasts.

Soorpanaka Quotes in The Ramayana

The The Ramayana quotes below are all either spoken by Soorpanaka or refer to Soorpanaka. 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.
5. The Grand Tormentor Quotes

"You are the overlord of seven worlds, mightier than the mightiest. Why do you feel sad and unhappy? Go and get her; that is all. Take her. She is yours. Is there anything beyond your reach? Stir yourself. Leave this desolate mood. Go forth, snatch her, because she is yours, created for you and waiting for you."

Related Characters: Soorpanaka (speaker), Sita, Ravana
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
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Soorpanaka Character Timeline in The Ramayana

The timeline below shows where the character Soorpanaka appears in The Ramayana. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
4. Encounters in Exile
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...This makes him nervous, though he's struck by her beauty. She introduces herself as Kamavalli (Soorpanaka), the demon Ravana's sister. Rama is surprised at her human form, but the woman explains... (full context)
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
Soorpanaka refuses to outright state her purpose, but Rama realizes she wishes to marry him. He... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
Sita comes out of the cottage, stunning Soorpanaka with her beauty. Soorpanaka asks who Sita is, thinking that Sita and Rama are the... (full context)
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Rama tells Soorpanaka to leave before Lakshmana sees her. Soorpanaka tries to convince Rama again to marry her,... (full context)
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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The next morning, Soorpanaka returns to Rama's house and watches him go to the river. She sees Sita leave... (full context)
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Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Rama sees her when he returns from the river and asks Soorpanaka why she's all bloody. She cries that Rama doesn't recognize her, and Rama realizes that... (full context)
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Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
Thinking it will help, Rama explains to Soorpanaka who he is and how he came to be in the forest. He mentions that... (full context)
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Kara is a warrior demon with a vast army who protects Soorpanaka. Soorpanaka explains to Kara what happened, and Kara instructs his commanders to attack Rama. When... (full context)
5. The Grand Tormentor
Duty, Honor, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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Storytelling, Teaching, and Morality Theme Icon
...in perpetual salutation, women dance around him, and enslaved gods attend to his every need. Soorpanaka crashes into the hall, screaming. When Ravana sees her mutilated body, he asks who did... (full context)
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Interested, Ravana asks Soorpanaka to describe Sita. He falls instantly in love with her image, and Soorpanaka urges him... (full context)
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Ravana summons Soorpanaka and asks her to confirm that he's hallucinating about Sita. Soorpanaka insists that she sees... (full context)