English symbols in Bengali drama - Michael Dutt
Micheal Madhusudan Dutt, known for his pioneering works in Bengali literature, especially introducing Romanticist themes, was born today in 1824.
Michael Madhusudan Dutt, known for his pioneering works in Bengali drama, was born on the 25th of January, 1824. Born in what is today the Jessore District of Bangladesh, he was an exceptionally talented student in literature right from his primary schooling. He even adopted the English taste and manners as his exposure to English literature increased over his lifetime.
He started writing poetry by age 17 and got them published in numerous magazines. Embracing Christianity in 1843, and adopting the name ‘Micheal’, he would have a tumultuous life forward. He was disinherited by his father and started working in Madras as an usher in the Asylum. He got work in the Madras University High School and some editing jobs elsewhere, but things remained adverse for him.
His success really started from the 1850s, where he wrote many English-only plays and poetry, drawing on references, symbols, and phrases from the best of English Romanticism poetry available at that time. However, he would soon move to Calcutta, and by 1858, also began writing in Bengali. Writing 5 plays - Sermista (1859), Padmavati (1859), Ekei Ki Boley Sabyata (1860), Krishna Kumari (1860) and Buro Shaliker Ghare Ron (1860). These would propel him to importance in the literary theatre.
The Meghnad Badh Kavya became his most famous work, an epic poem written in Bengali, about the life of Meghnad, the brother of Ravan in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Dutt would be much more than a mere writer, however - studying Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit alongside Bengali and English gave him the abilities of a linguist and polyglot.
At the end of his life, he would be far less remembered than he is today - as it took time for his works to be disseminated and read among the common populace. Today, he is regarded as one of the best virtuosos that Bengal has produced.
Dutt's poem composed in the honor of Dante Alighieri was well appreciated by Italy's supreme monarch, Victor Emmanuel II. The king went on to mention how his work would serve as a connection between the literary traditions of the east and the west.