Dramaturgical Analysis: Play With in Play as a Theatrical Technique in Mahesh Dattani‟s Play Where Did I Leave My

Hina Rafique, Sumaira Mukhtar

  • Hina Rafique Govt. P.G. College (w) Satellite Town. Gujranwala
Keywords: Dramaturgical Analysis, Play within Play, Shakuntala, Modernity in Indian Theater, Purdah


This research study is an attempt to analyze the play Where did I leave my Purdah by an Indian playwright Mahesh Dattani. Primarily, this research study focuses upon a discussion of the employment of the theatrical technique i.e. Play Within Play within the structure of the play by Dattani. Ervin Goffman‟s (1922-1982) notion of dramaturgical analysis (grounded on his social analysis) has been taken as a theoretical framework to reinforce the proposition that performance of the actors on stage resemble their actual lives. Contextually, the protagonist‟s creed to perform the role of Shakuntala, a heroine from the classic epic Shakuntala by Kali Dasa, a Sanskrit writer, in the play has been negotiated, subsequently contributing to this corollary that the characters in the play, in their acts to perform legendary roles on stage, actually present their own lives, psyche, self, emotions and personalities through their roles. The researcher has two arguments to carry in this research, first how the text embedded play within play technique in the structure, secondly application of Ervin Goffman‟s (1922-1982) notion of dramaturgical analysis on the characters and plot. Hence, the lives of characters and their role performance on the stage have been negotiated as echo-perspective in the play by the researcher. So, this research would be a positive addition to the body of modern Indian drama and Sociology. This is basically qualitative research in design and is based on textual analysis.