Recreating Draupadi: A Study of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions
Keywords:Retelling, Myth, Feminism, Patriarchy, Ideology, Subjugation
Mythological retellings have explored those issues of the epics which were submerged in the objective representation of the events. Redefining the existence of the epical characters, these revisionist writings have presented the events from the alternate perspectives. With an attempt to deconstruct the concept of ‘truth’, the contemporary mythological retellings have tried to demystify the dominant ideologies, and for this purpose they had brought into forefront the overlooked characters. In the grand narrative of the epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata the perspectives of the women characters were often overlooked; at the same time the objective representation of the events could not provide the necessary space to delve deep into their psyche. Therefore, ample numbers of the contemporary mythological retellings have highlighted the lives of the women characters of the epics, by presenting the events from their perspectives to explore those facets of the ‘truth’ which were overlooked in the source texts. This research article has attempted to reconstruct the identity of Draupadi of the Mahabharata by focusing on her character as depicted by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in her The Palace of Illusions, a wonderful mythological fiction reinterpreting the events of the epic Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective. Adopting a feminist stance, this research article has explored Draupadi’s resistance to patriarchal domination, and in this way, here an attempt has been undertaken to reassert her individuality and to redetermine her role in the epic.
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