To many individuals living in the world, the supernatural is a phenomenon that is not real and cannot exist. It is noticed that the supernatural actions, events, etc. are something beyond the imagination, perspective, and experience of individuals. This is major because of the scrutiny by science and technology that such supernatural is merely impossible and is bounded because of certain reasons. Where on one hand the majority of the contemporary society does not believe in supernatural, at the same time, there are believers who have a strong belief in such supernatural incidents and stories. Supernatural stories and events have been discussed in a variety of books, films, stories, etc. however, the poems Iliad and Sakuntala have expressed supernatural by discussing the events of the ancient times (Gods and Societies). This essay aims to discuss the role of the supernatural in the Iliad and the Sakuntala. Furthermore, it will analyze the similarity between the stories of the two poems.
It should be noted that in Sakuntala and Iliad the role of Supernatural is quite valued and honored by a majority of individuals. Although after reading the incidents, events and work of supernatural, humans cannot think of it as it is beyond their power and realism, however, the elements are highly appraised and valued for the various supernatural works (Homer; Kālidāsa. and Ryder)
Firstly in Iliad, Homer has informed that the Greeks were people who had great qualities and traits regarding their way of life. The poem has discussed the heroic and supernatural deeds of the hero Achilles. Achilles had to represent its race and religion i.e. Greeks and their religion. There are numerous supernatural incidents described in the Iliad, however, to quote a few, the one when there were huge battles between the epic characters of the Iliad and the fights were constantly fought between the rivals. In such scenarios, the army fighting for the Greeks and Trojans were awarded supernatural abilities so that they can easily overcome and counter the strength of Hektor (Homer).
The hero of the Iliad, Achilles also had prominent superhuman powers and strength that is unimaginable by other humans. This can be understood from the below-stated phrase from the epic:
‘… and the door barred to his room took three men to open it, but Achilles himself alone could close it’ (Homer 488). It was revealed by theorists and writers that supernatural elements make great epics. In the Iliad, there are a variety of supernatural elements and beings that can be seen to take part in the tale. Similarly, in the Sakuntala supernatural elements have greatly added to the effectiveness of the poem and the power of the beings and Gods that time (Homer).
The action depicted in Sakuntala has been portrayed with the help of supernatural and fancy and fascinating makeups. One such supernatural event from the poem is when Sakuntala was cursed by a powerful Rishi, known as Durvasha and who was not properly greeted by Sakuntala. The wrath of the Rishi becomes real when Sakuntala was not recognized by her husband (Kālidāsa. and Ryder).
“I do not remember. To whom do you belong, you wicked hermit-woman? I do not remember a union with you for virtue, love, and wealth. 1 Either go or stay or do whatever you wish” (Kālidāsa. and Ryder 99).
Such other supernatural incidents are discussed in Sakuntala. Both poems have discussed supernatural events but in a slightly different manner. In Iliad, the supernatural is used to show power and wrath while in Sakuntala it has been shown only to bring wrath, however, the underlying meaning of both the epics is almost the same and i.e. to destroy the opponent.
Homer. Iliad, Volume 1. New York: A.S. Barnes & Burr, 1865. Print.
Kālidāsa. and Arthur W Ryder. The Recognition of ʹSakuntala. New York: Dover Publications, 2003. Print.