M M Dutt The Captive Ladie | A Critical Analysis


M M Dutt The Captive Ladie | A Critical Analysis


M M Dutt The Captive Ladie

M M Dutt The Captive Ladie | A Critical Analysis

‘The Captive Ladie’ is a historical poem as the theme of the poem is taken from history. The background of the poem is narrated by the poet himself in prose before he begins the poem.     

In the historical background of the poem, the poet says, the Captive Lady referred to in this poem was the Daughter of the king of Kanuj, (Kanuj was a small Kingdom near Delhi ruled by  Hindu kings of India). He had a beautiful daughter whose hand the king of Delhi solicited but the king of Kanuj did not give her to the king of Delhi in marriage. The king of Kanuj thought himself to be the Lord paramount all over the country and hence he once celebrated the Feast of Victory. The kings and princes who were unable to resist his power were to be attended the feast according to traditional custom. Almost all the contemporary princesses, being unable to resist his power, attended the feast except the king of Delhi. the king of Delhi refused to attend the feast, it insulted the king of Kanuj much and in anger, he made an image of the king of Delhi and represented the images in the Court of Kanuj. It was really an insult to the king of Delhi. On the last day, of the feast, the king of Delhi with a few chosen followers entered the palace of the king of Kanuj in disguise. And then seeing the image of himself, the king of Delhi carried it off with one of the Royal Princess whose hands he once solicited. This fair royal princess, however, was rescued by the king of Kanuj; but eventually, the king of Delhi affected her escape in the disguise of a Bhat and married her. The king of Kanuj never forgot this insult. After only a few years of that event, Mahmud, the Sultan of Ghazni invaded Delhi. Then to retaliate the King of Delhi, the king of Kanuj did not assist him. As a result, Mahmud first crushed the King of Delhi and then the king of Kanuj. The king of Delhi was slaughtered by Mahmud and on the funeral pyre, the queen of Delhi was burnt along with her dead husband.

This is the historical background of the poem narrated by the poet and after narrating the background, the poet begins the poem. The poem is about dreams which the queen of Delhi dreamt before the invasion of Sultan Mahmud. 

The dream seen by the queen presaged the coming disaster; the invasion of Sultan Mahmud and the tragedy of the queen. As the poet writes, the queen had dreamt two dreams.

First, the queen dreamed that in front of her, there came a maid warrior. She appeared to be blood-stained and handling a sheathless sword. Her physical hue was as dark as a cloud. Around her waist, there was a hideous zone of hands with charnel lighting. She wore the garlands of heads that were bathed in coagulated blood. Her eyes were fierce as Death’s. From her eyes blasting light was emitting out.  Seeing her, the queen shuddered in fear. The queen thought that she was none but a ruthless awful Deity. From the dreadful alter of the Deity, the blood of her victim was flowing down. The Deity said to the queen addressing her as a daughter, that as the queen saw her so would happen to her soon. The time was coming. Saying so, she bid farewell.

After this dream, the queen saw another dream. In the second dream, the queen saw that in front of her, there appeared a he-warrior. It looked to be faint but bold and undaunting. He stood like a huge hungry monster. A hideous curtain was waking in him. The queen feared and shrieked and asked him why he was so dreadful. But he disappeared. Seeing so, the queen anticipated and thought whether her father had forgotten his anger, or whether her father would help them to crush down their foes.

The poetry ends here. Later on, the dream came into reality. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Delhi and crushed the king. The queen also burnt herself on the funeral pyre with his husband.

The poem shows the royal conditions of eleventh-century India. It shows that the native kings were not on good terms with one another for which the foreigners could invade India and were able to crush down the Indian kings. Moreover, the poem shows the devotion of the queen to her husband.

The dreams dreamt by the queen are full of horror. It reminds us of the three weird sisters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the horror scene in John Webster’s ‘The White Devil’.  

The language of the poem including its imageries is simple but the imageries startle us with romance and horror. It has a charming simile as –

”Dark was her hue, as darkest cloud,

Which comes the Moon’s fair face to shroud.”0 0 0

M M Dutt The Captive Ladie | A Critical Analysis

Read More: Ramesh Chunder Dutt’s Poem ‘Sita Lost’

N. B. This article entitled ‘Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Poem ‘Satan’- A Critical Analysis’ originally belongs to the book ‘Indian English Poetry Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

M M Dutt The Captive Ladie 

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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