Kalidasa’s most famous play refashions an episode from the Mahabharata, magnificently dramatizing the love story of Shakuntala, a girl of semi-divine origin, and Dushyanta, a noble human king. After their brief and passionate but secret union at her father’s forest ashram, Dushyanta must return to his capital. He gives Shakuntala his signet ring, promising to make her his queen when she joins him later. But, placed unawares under a curse, he forgets her—and she loses the ring that would have enabled him to recognize her. Will the lovers be reunited?
About the Author
Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India’s classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. According to legend, he lived at the end of the fourth century, and was one the ‘nine jewels’ in the court of the Gupta king Chandragupta II. Although very little is known about his life, Kalidasa’s popularity has endured for centuries.