Ambā’s Speech to Bhīṣma (MBh 1.96.48-49) Morales-Harley, Roberto
The paper examines Ambā’s Speech to Bhīṣma in terms of the duality of the central elements that are mentioned: the husband/wife participants, the father/ daughter reasons, and the moral/social components of dharma. It argues that, by switching the emphasis from the Udyoga Parvan to the Ādi Parvan, a contribution can be made in viewing Ambā “the wife” as a predecessor of Ambā “the female ascetic.” Within a philological framework, methods from Argumentation Theory, such as lexical, rhetorical and logical analysis, serve to further comprehend the speech. Three main conclusions are drawn: the wife’s participation in the svayamvara is more relevant than that of the husband, the daughter’s reasons rely more on rational pondering than those of the father, and the social component of dharma prevails, through the preservation of the wedded wife’s duty.
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