Shakespeare and the Natyasastra

John Russell Brown


The practical examples found in the Natyasastra were taken from the culture in which it was written, a world that has long been lost. Acting that derives from these observations will have almost no relevance to our times and society but the basic method of working could be followed by contemporary English-speaking actors if they were to observe their own daily lives very closely ,and those of their audiences. The Natyasastra instructs actors to consider a rasa as the consequence of one of the nine dominant emotions. By starting with rasa, understood as the sensation or predominant feeling of the person to played become able to reflect and recreate the lives of actors and audiences. Applied to Shakespeare’s texts, when speech and action derive from the sensation of being
–that is from rasa- an entire person will be presented on stage and Shakespeare’s language becomes a contemporary idiom. The author presents his theatrical experiments done with Shakespeare’s plays based on the principles of Nataysastra.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.