Mahabharata Essay

William Buck
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In the following excerptfrom an introduction to William Buck's prose retelling of the Mahabharata, van Nooten outlines the story told in the epic work, provides some historical background to the period portrayed in this epic, and discusses the systems of morality, eschatology (a branch of theology), and philosophy that underlies and informs the action.

The Mahabharata is the story of a dynastic struggle, culminating in an awesome battle between two branches of a single Indian ruling family. The account of the fight between the Kurus and the Pandavas for the fertile and wealthy land at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers near Delhi is enhanced by peripheral stories that provide a social, moral, and cosmological background to the climactic battle.

We do not know exactly when the battle took place. The Mahabharata (pronounced with, the stress on the third syllable: mahabhdrata) was composed over a period...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,868 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mahabharata Study Guide
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Mahabharata from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.