Sita in Valmiki Ramayana: A Feminist Archetype!
The IUP Journal of English Studies, Vol. VIII, No. 4, December 2013, pp. 67-80
14 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 6, 2014
In the Ramayana Valmiki, perhaps with a feminist heart, chiseled Sita’s character as a harmonious embodiment of beauty, tenderness of heart, abundance of compassion, fidelity, wisdom of the truest type, courage of heart, and endurance, that served her well in constantly asserting herself for her rights — rights as defined by her value-system. But Indian feminists have often criticized Sita “as an overly-submissive wife who committed suicide for an ultimately untrusting husband” (Hirst and Lynn, 2004). It is also alleged that the ideal qualities of Sita as presented in the Ramayana are of her unquestioning subordination to the demands of her husband (Goldman and Sutherland, 2004). Against this backdrop, an attempt is made in this paper to trace evidence from the epic that argues contrary to these beliefs and presents Valmiki’s Sita as the feminist archetype.
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