Mahabharata Books Ten and Eleven
“Dead of Night” and “The Women”
The great war of the Maha bharata is over. Or is it? This is a single extended family wracked in conflict. Both sides succumbed to treachery. Ashva tthaman, the young leader of the three survivors on the losing side, is incensed at his father’s murder. He returns after dark to the now sleeping encampment. The sacrifice of the unsuspecting champions, the "Dead of Night," ensues. The five sons of Pandu have escaped. After a final confrontation, a missile crisis, Ashva tthaman concedes defeat but redirects his missile into the wombs of the victors’ women. They miscarry, and cannot hope for more children. Now the survivors, victors and vanquished, must struggle to comprehend their loss. "The Women" of both sides are confronted by their men’s mangled corpses in a masterpiece of horror and pathos. But their potent curses must be curbed to usher in a new era. Maha bharata Books Ten and Eleven give voice to the vanquished, to the psychology of loss and the conflicting desires for understanding and revenge.
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