The Mask and its Psychological Dimensions in Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana

In Pursuit of the Connotative Truth


  • Amara Khan Assistant Professor, Department of English, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore


body language, dialogue, disguise, expressive, language, mask, psychology, revelation


In the course of this research paper an attempt has been made to explore the connotative reality of the masks. A critical look at the masks of different characters of Girish Karnad’s play Hayavadana (1971) shows that they serve two significant purposes; of both hiding and supporting the truth, which in itself is a relative phenomenon. The study examines various techniques used by Karnad which render the presentation of masks effective in theatre. It also focuses on the objectives, techniques and types of mask usage in terms of disguise and revelation at the psychological levels. A special attention has been given to the analysis of the dialogue and the body language/gestures of the characters, which are used as a kind of a mask to hide their emotions from other characters present on the stage. It is, however, observed that their very act of concealment becomes a means to reveal the truth to the audience. These kinds of masks are considered as psychological masks which perform the same function as the physical masks do, without being physically observed on the stage. Finally, the goal of this research paper is to make a comprehensive study of the expressive language used in the play to expose the intended reality of the characters. Qualitative approach has been adopted as a methodology for this research paper where the interpretive method of inquiry has been employed to explore the hidden meanings within the text.



2020-09-28 — Updated on 2021-03-21