Tughlaq: Play Scene 9 - Summary & Analysis

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      This is the scene of a hide-out in the hills’. Aazam and Aziz are seen stretched out on the floor. They were introduced in the opening scene of the play as a common pickpocket and a court thief respectively to amuse the audience as well as to reflect the age during Muhammad’s rule. During their leisurely conversation Aazam shows disgust with the kind of life he has been living, a boring one, Aziz cuts a joke and asks him to commit suicide-the best way to end such a life. To this Aazam tells about his vain attempt once when he jumped into a well, but the cold water was so cheering and refreshing that he came out of it and he has altogether dropped the idea of suicide.

      They discuss briefly about crime, virtue, rape and thus reflect the age they live in. Sarcastically enough, only those in power should rape who can use their authority to defend themselves. “For one must have power-the authority to rape!” For this kind of authority Aziz aspires and has made a secret move, he hopes “Karim will bring the goods.” The secret of “goods” will be revealed later. He tells Aazam, it is pointless to rob a man, run and hide - it’s all boring. He says, “One should be able to rob a man and then stay there to punish him for getting robbed. That’s called ‘class’ - that’s being a real king.”

      Furthermore, he passes a sarcastic remark on Aazam that he is fit to be an Amir because he is stupid.

      Meanwhile, Karim enters the stage with Aziz’s desired “goods”- a man bound and gagged. After receiving the payment this attendant exits. The “goods” turns out to be Ghiyas-ud-din Abbasid, the descendent of Khalif Abbasid, the Guest of honour whom Muhammad Tughlaq had invited to Daultabad. Acting treacherously while performing dramatic gestures the “guest” is completely robbed of his ring, invitation letter of the Sultan, all his belongings and ultimately he is killed. Aziz, (Vishnu Prasad, the Brahmin), the court thief of the first scene, then the officer in the civil service, has now dressed himself as Ghiyasu-ud-din Abbasid and proceeds to meet the Sultan with Aazam as his attendant. It will be easy for him to play like that as nobody has seen Ghiyas-ud-din earlier, not even the Sultan himself.

Critical Analysis

      Through the characters Aziz and Aazam the playwright in this scene throws sufficient light on the horrible condition prevailing in Daultabad and also on the character of Muhammad Tughlaq. What they do in disguise the Sultan does the same in order to achieve the ideal of being the most powerful authority of a unique state. He too is secretive in his plans and doesn’t hesitate to kill or hang a person when he is suspicious. Aziz here plays a daring role to kill Ghiyas-ud-din and to go in his place to the court of the Sultan to become bigger than the Sultan. He like Muhammad Tughlaq, is bold and daring to take risk in life. Muhammad too believes: no risk, no gain.

      The symbolic use of Aziz and Aazam is remarkable. Both of them symbolize those who take opportunities to exploit the liberal policies, ideals and welfare plans of a democratic goverment.

      The scene also serves the purpose of dramatic or comic relief. After the sickening effect in the preceding scene caused by an atmosphere of starvation, death, hanging, doubt and uncertainties the playwright has introduced here two comic characters who, through their witty, sarcastic and amusing talks, make the scene light. It surely relieves the tension of the audience.

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