Monday, October 18, 2010

Elizabethan Age connected with India

While I was reading "The Elizabethan World Picture," Tillyard quotes Starkley when talking about the Correspondences which were rampant in the Elizabethan period. This quote of Starkley made me think of India's caste system: "To the head, with the eyes ears and other senses therein, resembled may be right well the under officers by princes appointed, for as much as they should ever observe and diligently wait for the weal of the rest of the body. To the arms are resembled both craftsmen and warriors which defend the rest of the body from injury of enemies outward and work and make things necessary to the same; to the feet the ploughmen and tillers of the ground, because they by their labour sustain and support the rest of the body."
Similarly, in Indian culture the mouth symbolized the Brahmin class consisting of clergy and teachers wielding religious authority, the arms represented the kshatriyas or warriors and administrators, the thighs symbolized the vaishyas, who were merchants and farmers/cattle herders, and lastly, the feet represented the shudras, who were the servants or enslaved peasants.
I thought it was interesting that there are such noticeable parallels between the Elizabethan and Indian cultures.

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