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The King of the Dark Chamber   By: (1861-1941)

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The King of the Dark Chamber by Rabindranath Tagore is a captivating and thought-provoking play that delves into the realm of human emotions and desires. Set in ancient India, the story revolves around a king named King Sudarshana, who has deliberately isolated himself from the outside world, residing in a dark chamber.

Tagore masterfully weaves together themes of solitude, love, power, and self-discovery in this enchanting tale. Through vivid dialogue and symbolism, he invites readers to contemplate the complexities of the human condition and the consequences of our choices.

The protagonist, King Sudarshana, serves as a fascinating character study. His fear of betrayal and rejection fuels his obsession with remaining concealed in darkness, reflecting a universally relatable fear of vulnerability. However, his seclusion also represents the isolation we impose upon ourselves when we suppress our true desires and emotions.

The introduction of a mysterious woman named Madhuri adds a layer of intrigue to the narrative. She becomes a symbol of love and freedom, enticing the king to face his deepest fears and confront the consequences of his choices. Their relationship evolves as the play progresses, ushering in moments of deep introspection and personal growth for both characters.

Tagore's poetic language and evocative imagery enhance the emotional intensity of the play. The use of light and darkness as symbols for enlightenment and ignorance serves to heighten the philosophical undertones. The author skillfully interweaves dialogue and monologues, allowing readers to explore the inner workings of the characters' minds and their struggles with their own existence.

One of the most powerful aspects of The King of the Dark Chamber is its universal relevance. Tagore explores the intricacies of human nature in a way that transcends time and place, making this play just as compelling today as when it was first written. The themes of self-discovery, the pursuit of happiness, and the limitations we place upon ourselves are themes that resonate with readers from all walks of life.

In conclusion, Rabindranath Tagore's The King of the Dark Chamber is a mesmerizing play that explores the depths of the human psyche. It is an introspective journey that prompts readers to question their own choices and embrace the light within themselves. With its lyrical prose and resonant themes, this play will undoubtedly leave a profound impact on anyone who delves into its pages.

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Original html version created at by Eric Eldred This eBook was produced by Chetan K Jain.

The King of the Dark Chamber

By Rabindranath Tagore

[Translated from Bengali to English by Kshitish Chandra Sen]

[New York: The Macmillan Company, 1914; Copyright, 1914, by Drama League of America, by The Macmillan Company]


[A street. A few wayfarers, and a CITY GUARD]


CITY GUARD. What do you want?

SECOND MAN. Which way should we go? We are strangers here. Please tell us which street we should take.

CITY GUARD. Where do you want to go?

THIRD MAN. To where those big festivities are going to be held, you know. Which way do we go?

CITY GUARD. One street is quite as good as another here. Any street will lead you there. Go straight ahead, and you cannot miss the place. [Exit.]

FIRST MAN. Just hear what the fool says: "Any street will lead you there!" Where, then, would be the sense of having so many streets?

SECOND MAN. You needn't be so awfully put out at that, my man. A country is free to arrange its affairs in its own way. As for roads in our country well, they are as good as non existent; narrow and crooked lanes, a labyrinth of ruts and tracks. Our King does not believe in open thoroughfares; he thinks that streets are just so many openings for his subjects to fly away from his kingdom... Continue reading book >>

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