Vasantika Swapnam – Sanskrit translation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream by R Krishnamacharya

Midsummer Night’s Dream is, perhaps, the first drama of Shakespeare that  was translated into Sanskrit. Several decades after  Krishnamacharya translated Midsummer Night’s Dream into Sanskrit, Sanskrit scholars turned their attention to translating other dramas of Shakespeare. Some of them are listed  below:

1. Venisa sarthavahah (Merchant of Venice) – Ananta Tripathi Śarma  1969
2. Yatha Te Rocate (As you like it) – Ananta Tripathi Sarma 1969
3. Dinarkarajakumarahemalekham (Hamlet) – Sukhamay Mukhopadhyay  1971
4. Uthika (Romeo & Juliet) – Revaprasad Dvivedi 1978
5. Candrasenah Durgadesasya Yuvarajah (Hamlet) – SD  Joshi & Pt. Vighnahari Deo 1980

Excerpts from the author’s preface in the first edition of “Vasantika  Swapnam”

It has been my long-cherished wish, to render into Sanskrit some of  the plays of Shakespeare. But a translation in the form of a Sanskrit  drama, is attended with difficulties. A Sanskrit drama, even if it should  be a translation, has to conform to a string of hard and fast rules. Failing in this respect, the work, no matter however good, is sure to  offend the taste of Sanskrit Pandits, and a work like mine written in the  first instance to give our Pandits a taste of Western poetry will have no  reason for its existence.

It is for this reason that Prof. H. H. Wilson has adopted the form of the  English drama in translating Sanskrit Natakas. Following the same  plan a translation of Shakespeare should have the garb of a Sanskrit  drama, though it may not be possible in every case to observe the rules laid down for Sanskrit Natakas.

This work is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer-night’s  Dream. The rendering is free in some places, and literal in other  places, without being detrimental to the general tenor of the passages  in the original. The ideas are enlarged in some places, but the  enlargement is generally in keeping with the dominant feelings. There are deviations in details with view to keep up the characteristics of the  Sanskrit drama. Some few passages pregnant with such ideas as  could be brought home to our Pandits have been omitted, as also  some passages which relate purely to Western habits and customs. I  dare say men of greater capacity and learning than myself may  produce a much happier and better translation of the same play.

I have selected Midsummer-night’s Dream at the outset, since it is not long and most of the ideas in it are not unfamiliar to the best of our  Pandits. This play of Shakespeare has, of all his plays, the most  Oriental cast about it, and I have accordingly given Sanskrit names for all the characters in the play.

I sincerely hope that this essay of mine may induce abler scholars to  take up the task, and, with far better success, introduce to the literatii  of the East some of the most chaste and beautiful thoughts of the  West.

R Krishnamacharya,
24th February 1892
Pudukota.
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Comments

Vasantika Swapnam – Sanskrit translation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream by R Krishnamacharya — 5 Comments

  1. Hello Bharateea,

    is there a download link available? If so, please provide it. I am not able to see it.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Adrian,

      Thanks for pointing out this. Download link that I had added yesterday, somehow, got disabled. I have enabled the download link at the bottom of the post. Now it is working. You may download the ebook.

  2. dear sir,
    I’m very happy to see the Sanskrit translation of one of the Shakespeare’s plays Midsummer’s Nightdream by R.Krishnamacharya. I think it’s a wonderful innovation and opportunity to grasp and comprehend the western culture through translation.Thanks for posting such invaluable material for the benefit of knowledge-seekers.

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