The character of Charudatta

The character of Charudatta

The character of Charudatta


The character of Charudatta : Dr. Ryder rightly remarks, “Mrichchakatikam displays admirably three characteristic of its author, his variety, his skill in drawing to characters and his humour.

Sudraka was well versed in the art of Characterization. Here he has given all sorts of chapters, high and low and they are undoubted living men and women. They represent different walks of life. They belonged to different classes and profession of the society. The real interest of this poetic drama lives in its very varied world of characters. We find people of different caste, clour and creed. We have a wide range of characters such as the Brahmin hero like Charudatta, Vadusaka like Maitreya, Villain like Sakara, revolutionary like Sharvilaka, Cultured men like the two Vitas and the three Ceteas as against the grumblers and drunkards like Mathusa, Barduraka, Dutakars and Samvahaka, loyal and diligent officers like Viraka and Candanaka and also the life like portraits of the heroines, Vasantsena, Madanika and Dhuta.

A hero of the ‘Dhirodat’ type:-

Charudatta is a hero of the ‘Dhirodat’ type. He is very handsome. He loses almost the whole of his fortune by giving away vast sums in charity. he is fond of music and extremely sympathetic towards other, even to the thief who breaks into his house. He cares for his good name above everything else and is prepared to stand by truth at any cost. He brood stover his poverty every now and then because he can not help others now. He is always against the terrorism of him except Sakara who always calls him ‘daridra Chudratta’. Madanika compares him to the moon. Candanaka describes him a ‘Gunarvinda’. The judge treats him with great respect. For Candalas, he is ‘gunratnanidhi’. And last, Vasantsena the most beautiful courtesan in Ujjayni fall deeply in love with his. Though he is very poor, she speaks volumes in his favour.

Incarnation of nobility

The word Charudatta means the one whose manner of giving charity is always beset with nobility. Charudatta is the incarnation of nobility. He bows down before the courtesan’s mother with nobility, welcomes the smallest office of the court with nobility and also offers his necklace to Vasantsena in the place of her stolen ornaments with nobility.

Excess of charity

Excess of charity makes him poor. On account of his poverty, his house has lost its former beauty and luster, but his own personality is as integral as before. The proverb ‘Proverb is a crime’ has proved to be true in his case. Sakara feels jealous of him and says, “Poor Charudatta can attract Vasantsena, Why not I? If Charudatta were rich, Sakara might not have become his rival. Poverty has not made Varudatta a cynic. We do not find any distortions in his personality.

A passive character

Some critics find Charudatta a passive character. They ask, “Does Charudatta deserve to be the hero of this play? They are justified. At first sight, it seems that he fails to control the situation. He becomes a fatalist and helplessly accepts the authority of the ruthless ‘Fate upon’ him. But When we go deeper in this character, he proves himself in the centre of all events in the play.

His important role in the political revolution:-

Most of the important events develop round his character. For example, He indirectly plays a very important part in the political revolution. Most of the political leaders have high regard for him. Sakara strangles Vasantsena Sakara’s companion. Vita is so much confused than he ultimately joints the party of Sharvilaka. Sharvilaka comes into contact with Charudatta and Vasantsena through Madanika. He is deeply impressed by Charudatta’s generosity. His companion Vita has also might regard for him.

The political leader, Aryaka also firmly believes that Charudatta has  played an important party in saving his life. Candanaka, a military office is so much impressed Charudatta that he does not arrest Aryaka because he feels that it may offend Charudatta’s feelings. This sows that Charudatta plays a very important part in the political revolution indirectly. Charudatta’s death sentence works as a spark to the fuel and it resulted in to political revolution. Thus Charudatta plays as a nucleus. such is the characteristic feature of his personality.

His passiveness in love

His passiveness in love is also illusive. Though he himself does not go toe see his beloved as Vasantsena does, yet he is always ready to undergo any risk for the sake of his love .Maitreya. the Vadusaka, tries to divert him from a courtesan’s love. At this time Charudatta’s answer to him is very significant., He tells him, “Friend, stop all your comment. I am bound to ma age. A horse tires to run fast, but his physical weakness does not help him to do so. In the same way, man’s restless mind may move here and there, but at last it will return to the heart. This woman could be won with money only. She is deserted by me because money has deserted me”. He uses these devices only to deceive Maitreya.

A man of strong self-confidence

Charudatta is a man of strong self-confidence. Maitreya tells him that Vasantsena is going to demand from him something more than her ornaments. He coolly replies, “Let her come. She will return fully satisfied.” Now his love for her is beyond control. When she comes, he hugs her as the (tightening does the cloud. When Maitreya convey him Sakara’s treat, he simple says, “He is a fool.” He is ready to face any danger for the sake of her love. Dr. De rightly remarks, “The most outstand feature of is character his deep love for Vasantsena.” Keith also  observes, He loves Vasantsena with affection free from all mere passion.

His tragic End:-

When Charudatta comes to know that he has lost Vasantsena for ever he is not in a condition to she a tear or two recollecting her eager love for her. He finds in himself in very critical condition. The present days of his life are full of noise and fury. When he is informed about her the court, Sakara is quarreling with him. The process of taking statements of the doubtful personas is going. Different people express their own doubts about Vasantsena’s murder. Really, it is the climax of Charudatta’s pitiable and pathetic condition. Naturally, there is no scope of him to express his heartfelt sorrow after he sad demise. At this time, the people may take him as a hypocrite. Here purely introvert man finds himself in the midst of tortuous physical event. What an irony! He can only say, “Why should I exist without Vasantsena?


It is said about Kalidasa’s character, “His heroines are more attractive and charming then the heroes. The opposite is the case with Sudraka. His heroes are most pleasant and charming the heroines. Dr. Ryder says, “In the case of Charudatta, his character lives in a sen win which Dushnata or even Ram can hardly be said to live.” 

 Read it also: Character Sketch -The Fool | King Lear

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