The Ramayana

How to Handle Your Feelings: Anger as an Antagonist in the Ramayana 9th Grade

Negative emotions such as despair, disappointment, fury, bitterness are very impactful on one’s life and actions; at times, such sentiments can drive one away from the right path. The complexity of feelings is accountable for the depth and dimension of a being. One of the reasons why the Indian epic the Ramayana has such profound layers is the emotional development of its characters. The flow of the story paints the perspectives of each character, good or bad, through multiple lenses. The demons, Rakshasas, may appear to be the main antagonists of Rama in the Ramayana, but negative emotions are the true fatal enemies within each characters, no matter whether men or animals.

In this epic, anger is a negative emotion that can destroy a person’s life with its immediate, horrifying consequences. When the evil Manthara fuels the Ayodhya queen Kaikeyi with hatred, and when she shows her rage; “Kaikeyi ran to the palace anger-room, slammed the door and locked it behind her. She broke off her strands of pearls. [...] I want to die!” (Buck, 68). This moment of fury leads her to the inescapable hole of misery and misfortune. Shortly after, her beloved husband Dasaratha passes away due to tremendous grief, caused directly by her decision...

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