1) ‘Sakuntala’ or ‘The Lost Ring’ gives us an in-depth view of the ic Indian culture and provides a clear insight into the ways of the Indian classes and masses in ancient times.
The first and the most striking revelation that comes about is the general demeanor of the Indian royalty. It is seen that although proud and confident, the kings and the other members of the royal family paid due respect to every noble being and adhered religiously to every right and ritual without any ridicule. This is evident in Act I when the king while hunting, is interrupted by the Hermits, “Hold, O King! This deer belongs to our hermitage. Kill it not! Kill it not!” The king, in spite of being fond of hunting and being in shooting range of the deer, acknowledges the request with sincere honor, “It’s done”.
Secondly, one is given a sneak peek into the difficulties one faced as a result of the caste system which existed in ancient India. Not even the King was spared from its atrocities, and this was the reason that even after falling head over heels for Sakuntala, he had to confirm whether their marriage would be socially acceptable before advancing further, “Would that my union with her was permissible! And yet I hardly dare hope that the maiden is sprung from a caste different from that of the Head of the hermitage.” Once he finds out that she is the offspring of a nymph and their union would indeed be acceptable, then only he takes the next step and attempts to approach her. Such was the backlash of the rigid caste system that every single person acted in accordance with it.
Thus, we are acquainted with the salient features of the classic Indian culture through this text, becoming aware of its positive tenets as well as its shortcomings.
2) Character motivation in any story is the link between a character and its behavior. If a character behaves in a certain manner, character motivation is the explanation behind that particular behavior. It is basically a back-up story that explains the events, situations, and characters in their present form.
If the play ‘Sakuntala’ was to be cast as a movie, firstly, I would rope in Danny Tanner from ‘Full House’ for the role of King Dushyanta, the reason being that the King comes across as a well accomplished, successful but grounded person who is extremely mature and responsible. Danny completely fits the bill as he displays the same qualities, raising his daughters beautifully, without his wife. Moreover, he is passionate about his love and ready to sacrifice, the same way Danny is happy to undergo anything for his daughters.
Secondly, Joey Tribbiani from ‘Friends’ would be the choice for the role of Mathavya, as he is shown to be a brave, flamboyant and a rather humorous character with weird problems of his own, and has the innocent and pure heart of a child. These traits are perfectly matched by Joey, who although naïve at times, is a great friend just like Mathavya is to the king and is extremely adorable as a clean soul.
As far as the role of Sakuntala is concerned, she is a very cultured woman rooted to her values. While she is innocent and childlike, she is simultaneously gritty and intelligible enough to stand up for her love when the situation demands it. She is a true friend, an ideal daughter, a loyal lover, and a doting mother all at the same time. The best character for this role would be Melissa Burke from ‘Melissa and Joey’ who although an irresponsible person in the past, rises up to the occasion when she is required to take in her niece and nephew and bring then up on her own.