Another Story: Re-composing the 'Ramayana'
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As the 'Ramayana' developed from an unfamiliar romance into a well-known, well-loved classic, successive presenters had to adopt new narrative strategies to maintain its audience appeal. Extracts could now be performed, allowing for much addition to the earlier text - new material and expansion of existing passages (identified in broad terms by their more elaborate diction). New episodes were included and others repeated or imitated, but the general lines of the plot remained unalterable. Episodes were now located in chronologically correct order, but creative authors were able to use their audiences' knowledge of the plot affectively. Older material was not discarded; the unitary text was becoming a compilation. Anomalies were corrected and new ones introduced. Beautiful lyrical passages were incorporated alongside banal lists. Character portrayals were given sharper definition, but society's changing values meant that the good fighter was now also expected to be a good man.
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