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Draupadī in the Mahābhārata



This paper will explore three dimensions of Draupadī’s literary personality: (1) as a divine figure with a cosmic destiny; (2) as an enraged and defenseless victim of sexual abuse; and (3) as a female scholar (paṇḍitā),who contributes to the Mahābhārata’s programmatic examination of dharma (justice). By looking at these three interconnected aspects of her character, the paper will trace her main appearances in the story, engage with scholarly discussions about her literary persona, and reflect upon how Draupadī provides a unique perspective from which to appreciate the Mahābhārata.