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Two plays of ancient India : the little clay cart, the minister's seal

Author: J A B van Buitenen; Śūdraka.; Viśākhadatta.
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 1968.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Drama : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The central plot of The Little Clay Cart, ascribed to Sudraka (ca. A.D. 400), is devoted to the fortunes of Carudatta, a Brahmin with every appealing attribute of the romantic hero, and the delightful Vasantena, a courtesan whose beauty of person and character make her a fit match for Carudatta. Each in a different way is menaced by the villian Samsthanaka, and this primary plot is interwoven with subplots: a
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Genre/Form: Translations
Translations into English
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Two plays of ancient India.
New York : Columbia University Press, 1968
(OCoLC)574050202
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: J A B van Buitenen; Śūdraka.; Viśākhadatta.
ISBN: 0231030460 9780231030465
OCLC Number: 654476
Notes: Prepared for the Columbia College Program of translations from the Oriental classics and sponsored by the Committee on Oriental Studies, Columbia University.
Translation of Mṛcchakatịka and Mudrar̄ak̄sạsa, respectively.
Description: viii, 278 pages ; 20 cm
Contents: The little clay cart, a Hindu drama attributed to King Sudraka --
The minister's seal, ascribed to Prince Visakhadatta.
Other Titles: Little clay cart.
Minister's seal.
2 plays of ancient India
Responsibility: translated from Sanskrit and Prakrit, with an introduction by J.A.B. van Buitenen.

Abstract:

The central plot of The Little Clay Cart, ascribed to Sudraka (ca. A.D. 400), is devoted to the fortunes of Carudatta, a Brahmin with every appealing attribute of the romantic hero, and the delightful Vasantena, a courtesan whose beauty of person and character make her a fit match for Carudatta. Each in a different way is menaced by the villian Samsthanaka, and this primary plot is interwoven with subplots: a political revolt; the love affair of a Brahmin/burglar and a member of Vasantasena's household. Other characters include Maitreya, the confidant of Carudatta; a Libertine; the forces of the law; gamblers; a msseur who becomes a wandering monk. The play abounds in humor, including the Malapropian speech of Samsthanaka, and ends on a note of Buddhist compassion and charity.

The Minister's Seal, ascribed to Prince Visakhadatta (6th century), represents another aspect of Indian drama: the semihistorical or political play. Except for two female guards all the characters are male, and love has no place in the plot. Canakya, the Machiavellian minister of King Candragupta, wishes to secure for his master the services of Raksasa, whose astuteness and loyalty had long been devoted to the previous ruler. In a succession of schemes, counterschemes, and subschemes, he achieves his purpose. The twentieth-century reader will find here striking parallels to his own time, in which propaganda, spies, double agents, and political coups are part of the daily news.

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