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Mahabharat and Girish Karnad’s Yayati: A Study on Myth Adaptation

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· Debojyoti Das Assam University (Silchar, India)


Adaptations of South Asian Narratives Across Time and Space


The proposed paper intends to discuss Girish Karnad’s Yayati from the perspective of myth adaptation. Primarily the study shall proceed with a discussion on the relationship between adaptation and myth with specific emphasis on drama. To develop a better understanding, Vyasa’s Mahabharat and Girish Karnad’s Yayati will be taken into consideration for parallel reading. Further, the paper aims to provide a detailed analysis of the aspects of adaptation, transformation and the techniques Karnad employed to adapt the story of Yayati from myth. Apart from the structural details which deal with the process of creation, the thematic concerns shall also be addressed briefly. Adaptation as a product is always deeply concerned about the socio-cultural impact, so, Karnad’s foray into myth adaptation is not devoid of it. In this context, the study shall also elaborate on the cause of myth adaptation in the contemporary era and its reason for being commercially successful.

Since the early ages, adapted stories from myths have often been staged and this became a popular source of creation for the dramatists of every era. The adapted stories are not only borrowed but also transformed to suit the taste of the audience. Even in the contemporary world myths are being adapted but the fidelity quotient is taken out, instead, it is driven by the creative zeal inherited from the author’s own interpretation of that myth. Keeping in mind the popular trend of myth adaptation, this paper aims to sum up a critical study of Girish Karnad’s Yayati as a product of myth adaptation.