Analyze several characters in the Ramayana to illustrate the range of motives that drive their personalities. Compare and contrast
Analyze several characters in The Ramayana to illustrate the range of motives that drive their personalities. Compare and contrast
The Ramayana is the ancient Sanskrit epic that follows the Prince Rama’s quest to liberate his adored wife Sita from the control of Ravana with assistance of an army of monkeys. The epic dated to around 500 to 100 BCE comprising of more than 24, 000 verses in seven cantos. The Sanskrit epic comprises the teachings of the ancient Hindu sages, and the teachings have greatly influenced the culture and art in the South East Asia and Indian subcontinent with some versions of the storyline based in the Buddhist canon. Rama is the main character and her story has narrated in dramatic and poetic versions by some of the Indians greatest authors and also in the narrative sculptures on the walls of the temples. The Ramayana is an oral epic of local northern importance concerning with hero and his exile (Buck, p. 1-3). Through characterization, we will understand the relevance of The Ramayana epic story in our society. Comparing and contrasting the characters will also help in understanding their roles in the epic story.
Major characters and their character traits including their comparisons
Rama is the main character of the Indian epic, The Ramayana, which narrates the life expedition of Rama. Being the main avatar of the Vishnu, Rama’s reason is to obliterate the demons or the rakshasas that pestilence the human world.
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Ram a can be considered as a perfect man through his acts. Rama is considered a perfect man because he follows dharma at all the times. Also, Rama is trained by the Viswamithra. Rama is however forced to destruct the demons of demons when Ravana kidnaps Rama’s wife, Sita. Following this incident, Rama was considered a perfect man, although criticized for a variety of reasons including treatment of Sita after overwhelming Ravana and action of Soorpanaka in forest. In addition, Rama can be considered as a sustainer of the worlds. The character is considered a sustainer of the world because he is strong, virtuous, and a man in his right. These moments are interpreted differently depending on the exact context. Rama can also be considered as a loving man. Rama deeply loves his wife, Sita together with his brother Lakshmana. Rama had a strong bond between her wife and his brother, thus making their bond hard to break (Buck, p. 5-6).
Sita is Janaka’s daughter, the king of the Mithila. The character of Sita can be compared to the character of Rama because Sita is the avatar Lakshmi, Vishnu’s wife. On the other hand, Rama was an avatar of the Vishnu. Also, just like Rama being an exemplary of a perfect man, Sita is a model of female virtue and purity. When we consider the early age of Sita, she was identified in the furrows of the plowed field that led to her adoption by Janaka. Sita’s character of vulnerability to abduction by Ravana is due to her desire for the magnificent golden deer. Sita is considered a faithful woman while in captivity. The faithful character is evident by her unharmed when she-cats herself into the fire. Sita character of loving can be compared to Rama’s loving character. Sita married Rama and loved him so much that she is willing to follow him into exile. Sita is farmed for her beauty and virtue, and she is regarded as the avatar of Lakshmi (Menon, p. 12).
Ravana is a rakshasa who acted penance for the God Siva for several years and afterward received a great blessing from God Siva. Ravana cannot be killed by demon, God, or any other divine being. Ravana can be considered arrogant, intelligent, and powerful, character traits that are unique from any other character in The Ramayana. The character traits have contributed to Ravana’s ability to rule over large area of Earth, extending terrible evil everywhere he appears. Lastly, Ravana can be considered as a stupendous fighter, a character trait that is very different from other characters. His stupendous fight is evident when he instructs all the Sun and Planets to be in their position for an auspicious. After Ravana had noticed this, he attacked Saturn with a scepter and eventually broke one of its legs, thus maiming him for life (Buck, p. 7).
Lakshmana is one of twin sons of the avatar of the Sheshnag Kaal and Sumithra, who protects Vishnu. Lakshmana can be considered a devoted person since he is dedicated to his brother and he does not permit Rama to go exile with him or go with Viswamithra. According to The Ramayana epic story, Lakshmana is a single quarter component of manifest Vishnu and he is considered as an avater of Shesha, a character trait that is evident is almost all the characters in The Ramayana ancient epic (Buck, p. 13).
King Dasaratha is a king of Ayodhya, father of the Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana, and Shatrughna. King Dasaratha can be considered as a loving parent because he loves Rama so much. King Dasaratha is a caring father who tries to shelter Rama from any danger. Kind Dasaratha is considered as people’s king since he is a good king that is liked by many people.
Hanuman is the universal in charge of monkey armies of the Kishkinda who help Rama in releasing Sita from her imprisonment on an asura island of the Lanka. In some narrations, Hanuman is the avatar of Shiva. Hanuman devotes himself in serving Rama and makes use of the boldness and cunning to finish the different jobs Rama gives him. Hanuman can be considered as the representative of the devotion to God.
Viswamithra is one of the seven legendary Hindu sages. Viswamithra became mentor to both Lakshmana and Rama when they escorted him to the yagna where their role was to defend the perceptions from asuras who tried to upset the customs. Viswamithra can be considered as a good story teller, a character trait different from other characters in The Ramayana ancient epic. Viswamithra narrates stories to his brothers. The stories were to mean for Rama in different ways to abort his mission. Also, Viswamithra can be considered as a wise man who once became a king. Through the long meditation, Viswamithra gained some magical powers. Viswamithra took Rama on the quest to defeat the demon and to uplift the bow of God Siva, the primary step in the future king’s great journey (Menon, p. 27-33).
Minor characters and their character traits including their comparisons
According to the Ramayana ancient epic, Ganga is the goddess, daughter of the Himavan. Gangas’ trait of being incomparable beauty made her be given to the Devas, thus being the Milky Way. In later time, Siva brought Ganga down to Earth to become the river Ganges.
According to The Ramayana ancient epic, Siva is part of the great trinity in the Hinduism, along with Brahma and Vishnu. Siva is the great ascetic and always seated in the meditation. Siva had unique character traits. The character traits were much different from other characters in the ancient epic. For example, Siva can tame the power of other gods, supernatural beings, devas. Siva always granted wishes and blessings to those characters seated in the dedication meditation.
Lava is one of the youths to whom Valmiki taught the Ramayana that he had got from Narada. Lava had a unique character that was never observed in the other characters in The Ramayana ancient epic. Lava is unknowledgeable. Lava does not know that he is the son of Rama, and this character of unknowledgeable in only found in Lava and Kusha, thus making Lava and Kusha unique from all the other characters in the Ramayana epic.
Kusha and Lava are the only two characters sharing same unique character traits compared to other characters in The Ramayana. Kusha is unknowledgeable that he is the son of Rama.
Vasishta is a character in The Ramayana who is the Guru to King Dasaratha. Visishta can be considered as a religious figure in the society since he used to offer religious advice to the king and the royal family.
According to The Ramayana, Tataka is considered as a beautiful woman who was changed into rakshasi or a demon when she attempted to seduce the rishi Agastya. As the rakshasi, Tataka drinks the blood of the living creatures and could kill anything she could see and come in contact. Her character gave her courage to do anything since she considered herself a demon. Her demon character motivated her to do anything such as killing other creatures to drink blood of the living creatures.
According to The Ramayana, Kaikeyi was considered as the third and youngest wife of King Dasaratha. Kaikeyi is a caring woman since she saved the life of Dasaratha in the battle.
According to The Ramayana, Kausalya is considered as a loving person since she loved her son Rama very much irrespective of poor relationship she had with his husband.
Other characters in The Ramayana epic book includes Sumitra, Manthara, Guha, Bharata, Shatrughna, Surpanakha, Maricha, Khari, Jatayu, Kabandha, Sugriva, Angada, Vibheeshana, Sampati, Jambavan, Indrajit, Kumbhakarna, Agastya, and among others.
In conclusion, it is evident that each some character shared same character traits while others having their unique character traits, thus making each to acquire their personalities. The character traits of each were important in communicating the main ideas found in The Ramayana epic book.
Buck W. The Ramayana: Motilal Banarsidaa Publisher: Hindu mythology. 2000. Print.
https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vvuIp2kqIkMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Ramayana&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=The%20Ramayana&f=falseMenon R. The Ramayana. HarperCollins Publishers. Fiction. 2012. Print. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=B-RzBkqeoIgC&dq=The+Ramayana&source=gbs_navlinks_s
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