Red Lotus Essay

Words: 1123
Pages: 5

Devasmita and the nun, two characters in Somadeva’s “The Red Lotus of Chastity”, employ the same concept from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Both Devasmita and the nun attempt to follow Machiavelli’s concept of being a lion and fox. However, only Devasmita succeeds in being both animals while the nun is merely a power hungry lion trying to dress up in a fox costume that did not fit. This concept of being a fox and lion means that to succeed in your ‘battle’ a person must be a cunning, deceitful fox and a powerful, aggressive lion both at the same time. “He should select among them the fox and the lion, because the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot protect himself from the wolves.” (2528 Prince) In this, …show more content…
By thinking outside the box like a sly fox would, Devasmita easily puts another cuckold on the merchant’s sons and leaves them speechless when they are proven to be her slaves. Contrasting to the success of Devasmita, the nun’s plan ends up in utter failure. This is mainly because the nun is merely a dimwitted and hungry lion trying to appear as a fox. Despite her attempts in trying to deceive Devasmita, the nun gives away her plan from the beginning and has no chance in beating her. “‘There are some merchant’s sons from the Archipelago who are staying in town,’ said the nun. ‘I shall bring them to you if you want.’ Overjoyed the nun went home”. (965) When the nun tells Devasmita that she will deliver the merchants’ sons to her, she is automatically failing to be a Machiavellian fox. Because the nun reprimands Devasmita for not following her duty, she gets caught up in her own lies, and forgets to pay attention to her own duty (which Devasmita sees right away). Because the nun has a higher position in society than Devasmita does, when the nun tells her that she will do the dirty work for her, Devasmita is able to see right through the nun’s plan. Also the fact that the nun goes home ‘overjoyed’ proves that she fails as a fox because a fox should always have a watchful eye on its surroundings instead of being caught up in the moment. Her over-enjoyment of the situation exposes her obvious schemes as a vicious lion to the wily Devasmita. There is a