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When Arjuna Faces Achilles Unarmed: The Meeting of Two Warriors in “He-Rose”

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) – The theatre production ‘He-Rose’ challenges conventional notions of heroism by drawing parallels between iconic figures such as Arjuna from the Mahabharata and Achilles from the Iliad. Presented by The Cultural French network in India and NSD, the play is a collaborative effort between ENSATT and Adishakti Laboratory premiering in Chandigarh.

The play, written by Nimmy Raphel and directed by Vinay Kumar, explores the tragic saga of two mythological heroes, Arjuna and Achilles. Kumar, emphasizing the futility of war, discusses the interplay between vulnerability and courage in the characters, highlighting their second thoughts about fighting due to an encounter with their feminine side.

The production delves into the archetypes brought out by war, showcasing how myths hold significant importance in Indian culture as opposed to European culture. Both Arjuna and Achilles encounter non-heterosexual behavior, leading them to question the morality and brutality of warfare. The play focuses primarily on these two characters, shedding light on the impact of war on humanity and the perception of heroism.

Nimmy Raphel, the writer of the play, highlights the need to re-look at our notions of heroes and the understanding of human progress. She emphasizes the role of women in war and discusses the impact of decision-making on them. Raphel stresses the importance of storytelling in initiating debates about human civilization and the responsibility of artists in shaping societal perspectives.

As ‘He-Rose’ unfolds on stage, it invites audiences to contemplate the complexities of heroism and the implications of war on humanity. With a blend of Indian and European influences, the play promises to challenge traditional narratives and provoke thought on the nature of courage and vulnerability in the face of conflict.


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