Rama’s perfections are the ideas for perfection of ancient Indian society and his imperfections are also the imperfections of that society. This is similar to Achilles behavior in the Iliad for Achilles was a representation of the perfect warrior in Achaean society. Giving a hero this type of perfection gives them a inability to make mistakes. Instead in these stories the supporting characters tend to make the errors that push the plot along. In the Ramayana its Sita sending Laksmana off to go and check on Rama as he kills the deer that Sita wanted. Or Jatayu dying as he failed to prevent Ravana from taking kidnapping Sita. These errors give these characters a more human perspective and makes them far more interesting than the ideal that Rama sets. What really makes that human aspect show is how these characters rise against their weaknesses and become better human beings. Rama’s mother Kausalya is a good representation of this when she deals with Rama leaving. Kausalya at first has a lot of trouble dealing with this for she expected her son to be a king and instead he’s now being exiled. She says she’s going with him, then that she’ll die if he leaves, finally after she talks with her son for a while she accepts that he is going to leave but still has her doubts. This shows far more of a human reaction to being exiled to a forest for fourteen years.
When Arjuna faces his kinsmen and can’t kill them he is consoled through Krishna. Krishna tells him that these men will be reborn in the cycle of life and that action, discipline, and his god will guide him on the right path. This attempt to cope with killing people is a huge contrast to the greek literature that we have read in this class. The Greeks deal with death as it faces them, like how Hector dealt with facing Achilles, and the death of their loved ones. With the grief processes that follows that no matter how that grief is processed similar to how Achilles dealt with Patroclus death. When it comes to killing the Greeks have an acceptance to it that is never really addressed. Even Medea who kills her own children is never shown trying to process that and instead simply accepts it as an inevitable result of Jason leaving her. Processing killing like this is a sign of both a narcissist and a sociopath. While Arjuna’s difficulties and how he deals with them is the sign of a person who cares for others beyond himself and is trying to make the best out of a poor situation.