Predicament of Contemporary Society and Identity Crisis: A Study of Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana
Girish Karnad is a promising Indian dramatist. He belongs to the formative generation who came to maturity in the two decades following Independence and collectively reshaped Indian theatre. Existentialism is an aspect of modernism in art and literature. It basically rests on a philosophy of existence. This philosophy emerged in Europe and spread through the West during the Second World War. The effect of the two World Wars was that it gave way to issues such as identity crisis and predicament of human existence. The paper is to explore Hayavadana as a play depicting the human predicament where the characters are caught between the existential dilemmas of “to be or not to be”. The aim of the study is to present the play as a representation of individual and social predicament highlighting the interaction between instinct and reason. It would further examine the weird relationships between characters representing the unpredictability of the situation. Karnad’s play not only represent the modern age but also relate at length the existing class conflicts, spiritual degradation, utter helplessness and self agony. The play concentrates on “the theme of incompleteness” and superiority of mind on body. Though rooted in antiquity the themes have universal dimension of men’s predicament. Karnad’s major characters find it difficult to be disentangled. Thus, in the depiction of existentialism in the post modern world Karnad is unparallel and the paper is an attempt to unfold the mystery of human existence and the underlying concepts of existentialism presented in Hayavadana.