Duryodhana and Karna - The Mahabharata
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Duryodhana and Karna

stone statue of a man
Duryodhana (Cambodia, ca. 900s AD)

Duryodhana was the enemy of the Pandavas in the story of the Mahabharata, and he's forced out of power when the Pandavas defeat him. His friend Karna fights for him, defeating many kings, but eventually Arjuna kills Karna in a great battle.

Duryodhana's mother, fearing for his life, uses magic to make him invincible. She can make him invincible just by looking at him, and she looks at every part of his body, but out of modesty he covers his private parts, so they're still not invincible.

Then Duryodhana, grieving for his friend and enraged by his death, kills a great warrior, his enemy Chekitana, before being killed in battle himself, by a below-the-belt blow with a mace. Duryodhana's consolation is that he will be surrounded by friends and family in the afterlife.

(Compare the story of Achilles and Patroclos).

Learn by doing: write a story about a friend who fought for you, or when you lost a friend.
More about the Mahabharata

Bibliography and further reading about the Mahabharata:

Savitri - a story from the Mahabharata

Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India, by Aaron Shepard (1992). A retelling for kids of one of the more feminist stories in the Mahabharata, with lots of pictures in a traditional Indian style.

Mahabharata
Indian literature
Ancient India
Quatr.us home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 19 September, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT