- Who We Are
- What's ON
- The Waterfront
- Support Us
Rabindranath Tagore wrote the play on the Shakespearean model, in 1890 when a fierce race was being pursued in the name of Nationalism by every state power to capture its own market. The poet apprehended that this race could lead to violent destruction and Bisarjan is the result of this apprehension. He translated the play, was published as Sacrifice in 1917, when the First World War was at its height. The poet dedicated this play "to those heroes who bravely stood for peace when human sacrifice was claimed for the Goddess of War."
Consequences occur as the result of the male/female conflict in Sacrifice, where a husband-wife quarrel is projected into a struggle between the authority of church and state. King Govinda decides to abolish animal sacrifice after seeing a distraught child lamenting the sacrifice of her pet goat in the temple. This unilateral decision pits him against his chief priest and wife. In Tagore’s time, religion dominated politics. In this play, the effects of subverting the accepted hierarchy are as devastating as the projection of the male/female conflict in The King and the Queen. In a classic decontructive twist, the decree designed to lessen bloodshed actually promotes it.