William Buck Writing Styles in Mahabharata

William Buck
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Narrative Technique—Frame Stories

The complex structure of the Mahabharata exists in part due to its shape as a series of stones and narratives nested one within another. It opens with the first of two frame stories, which act as introductions, leading the reader toward the heart of the poem, the epic story of the great battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The reader first encounters the tale of Sauti, a bard or storyteller, who recounts what he has heard of the Mahabharata to several listeners in the forest. Sauti quotes the sage Vaisampayana, who has learned the poem from his master, Vyasa, the author of the work. Vaisampayana's tale thus comprises the second frame story. He recites most of the Mahabharata at the snake sacrifice of King Janamejaya. Within the main plot of the poem several more sages, or rishis, such as Markandeya and Vrihadaswa...

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This section contains 649 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mahabharata Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Mahabharata from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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