This paper investigates the depictions of the forest in the Rāmāyaṇa in connection with the representations of the moods of the characters, and as a way of arousing emotional states (rasas) in the audience. For this purpose, Books II-IV of the poem have been examined. Here, the forest never appears to be described neutrally. Some distinct forms of presentation can be recognised: through the depiction of the natural environment, the poet prepares the audience for a disquieting episode or, on the other hand, for a peaceful situation; nature can contrast with or reflect the feelings of the characters; at times, a sort of direct emotional relationship is shown between the human protagonists and wild nature.
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