About the Book :
Shakespeare and the language and literature of which he was the proudest 'fashioner' have acted not as a damper on, as some people would have us believe, but as a source of constant stimulus and impetus to almost all the languages and literatures of India. The impact of the great 'bard' on Hindi literature has no doubt been part of the wider contact the latter has had with the letters and culture of the west for over a century, but coming, as it did, in the formative stage of modern Hindi language and literature, it has perhaps been most outstanding and considerable. The study of Shakespeare's plays provided an incentive to Hindi drama-which has been the principal sphere of his influence-to come into its own through a series of imitative writings leading upto inspired original works, and helped the Hindi stage to pass from the crude farcical theatre of the folk tradition to a more respectable stage with proper dramatic effects. The poet in Shakespeare too, as revealed more in the plays than in the poems, stimulated the romantic and imaginative sensibilities of Hindi Poets to find expression in new lyrical forms with a new language and idiom to match. As a matter of fact, Shakespeare's influence on Hindi writers-mostly dramatists and poets-has been so pervasive and profound that although at times its presence is felt in the form of an echo or in the twist of a phrase, it defies analysis. Dr. J.P. Mishra's work is an exhaustive and critical study of all Shakespearean impact on Hindi literature for the first time. The work of immense interest to students of English and Hindi literatures; it has also a broader significance for scholars of the social and cultural history of the Indian people. Dr. Mishra's book is of great value not merely as a study in comparative literature but also as a significant contribution to the wider question of Indo-British cultural relations.