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Difference Of Portrayal Of Surpanakha In Tamil Kamba Ramayana And Valmiki Ramayana

Surpanakha's portrayal in the Tamil Kamba Ramayana, authored by the Tamil poet Kambar, differs from her depiction in the original Valmiki Ramayana in several aspects. Here are some of the key differences:

Extent of Characterization: In the Valmiki Ramayana, Surpanakha is primarily depicted as the sister of Ravana, who tries to seduce Rama and is subsequently disfigured by Lakshmana. However, in the Kamba Ramayana, Surpanakha's character is more elaborately developed. She is portrayed as a complex character with deeper motivations and emotions.

Sympathetic Portrayal: Kamba Ramayana offers a more sympathetic portrayal of Surpanakha compared to Valmiki Ramayana. While Valmiki's version often depicts her as a villainous character driven by lust and vengeance, Kambar's rendition explores her emotions, desires, and the circumstances that led her to act the way she did.

Background and Motivations: Kamba Ramayana delves into Surpanakha's background and motivations, providing a more nuanced understanding of her character. It presents her as a lonely and misunderstood woman longing for companionship and love, which adds depth to her actions and interactions with Rama and Lakshmana.

Emphasis on Redemption: Unlike Valmiki's Ramayana, where Surpanakha's disfigurement is presented as a punishment for her aggressive advances towards Rama and Sita, Kamba Ramayana emphasizes the theme of redemption. Surpanakha's character arc in Kambar's version may involve elements of remorse, repentance, or eventual reconciliation with her fate.

Role in the Narrative: While Surpanakha's role in Valmiki's Ramayana is relatively brief and serves as a catalyst for the events leading to the abduction of Sita, Kamba Ramayana expands her role and significance within the narrative. She has a more extended presence in the story, with her character contributing to various subplots or thematic elements beyond her initial encounter with Rama and Lakshmana.

Overall, Kamba Ramayana provides a more multifaceted and humane portrayal of Surpanakha compared to Valmiki's original epic, offering readers a different perspective on this enigmatic character.