M. Nirmala Devi

(Research Scholar-External, SCSVMV University, Kanchipuram)

Asst. Professor of English, KL University, Guntur(AP)



Professor of English

SCSVMV University,

Kanchipuram (TN)




Girish Karnad’s active career as a playwright has spanned between the emergences of modern theatre in the sixties till the second decade of the twenty-first century. His playwriting as a whole shows an oscillation between the demands of modern realism and pre-modern non-realistic traditions. His early plays like Tughlaq, Yayatiand Sacrifice are firmly set in the mould of realism though the latter two plays return to mythology for the material. Soon by mind-seventies Girish Karnad is writing Hayavadana, a completely nonrealistic play. He follows this up with Naga-Mandala, a non-realistic play again. When he wrote Tale-Dandain early nineties, it was written with realism once again. After this he wrote an unusual play that dramatizes his characteristic tension between ritual and realism, myth and history. It may be mentioned in passing that Karnad’s later plays, Broken images, Flower and Marriage Album, are much less powerful than earlier ones that dramatise the creative tension between the opposite poles of realism and non-realism. Myth and Rituals are adaptive from the point of view of the society in that they promote social soil deity, enhance the integration of the society by providing a formalized statement of its ultimate value attitudes, affords a means for the transmission of much of the culture with little loss of content – thus protecting cultural continuity and stabilizing the society.

Key words: realism, mythology, pre-modern, non-realistic

Myth and Ritual on Girish Karnad’s Bali: The Sacrifice