Biography of Madhusudan Datta

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Michael Madhusudan Datta , the greatest poet between Bharatchandra ray and Rabindranath Tagore, is undoubtedly the most interesting figure in the history of Bengali literature. He was a man of real, though somewhat erratic, genius, and a courageous innovators of forms and types which altered the whole course of Bengali literature and addednew dimensions to it. To his adventurous spirit we owe blank verse and the sonnet , our first modern comedy and tragedy, and our first epic. He is the pioneer of the new (westernized) poetry and the new drama. The heroic note he introduced into Bengali poetry gave it a power and weight, a richness and elevation, it never had before. In his Meghnad-vadh and Virangana the rustic bengali muse sometimes spoke the language of Valmiki and Vyasa, as well as of Homer, Tasso, and Milton. In introducing blank verse he gave to Bengali poetry a music that was as rich as it was novel; with almost miraculous skill he elicited from the dulcet-toned Bengali vina the deep notes of the Miltonic organ.

Tilottoma, his first Bengali poem, appeared in 1859. It is based on the Puranic story of the war waged on the gods by the demon brothersSunda and Upasunda.This poem was written entirely in blank verse, and so were the two later poems Meghnad-vadh and Virangana. the later poems silenced the critics and detractors, and permanently established the vogue of blank verse literature.

The years 1861-62 were Madhusudan’s most fruitful period. they were the year of publication of Meghnad-vadh, Krishnakumari, Vrajangana, and Virangana. Virangana was modelled on Ovid’s heroic epistles, and contains some of Madhusudan’s finest blank verse. Technically it is his best work.

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