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Michael Madhusudan Dutt Biography

Michael Madhusudan Dutt, the pioneer or Bengali literature, was the popular and important poet and playwright of his times. Bengali literature flourished with his innovations and experimentations of blank verses, sonnet forms and western literary elements in Bengali poetry. He wrote the first epic in Bengali literature.

Born in the year 1824, in an aristocratic family, with a strong financial background, in Jessore, Bangladesh, Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s intellectual self, made him rebel as he challenged the ethics and values of the time. A product of the Bengali Renaissance, his supreme self-confidence, made its way out of his mouth as he said:
“You may take my word for it, …, I shall come out like a tremendous comet and no mistake.”

Coming to Calcutta at the age of seven, Michael Madhusudan Dutt was absorbed into the Hindu college for further studies, which is when he decided to go for an alternative lifestyle. He converted to Christianity to escape arranged marriage. Not been allowed to continue in Hindu college further, he completed his studies from Bishop’s college, England. After finishing his studies in Calcutta, Michael Madhusudan Dutt went off to London to study law and came back to India as a barrister. But his poetic genius made him excel in the field of literature, as his dramatic writings, and grand heroic epics, stood apart per excellence. His tragic epics of nine cantos are the hallmarks in Bengali literature.
Michael Madhusudan Dutt had a controversial personal life as he went on to marry an English woman, Rebbeca Mc Tavish, during his stay in Madras, with whom he had four children. However he abandoned his first family and married a French woman Amelia Henrietta Sophia, and had their first child named Sarmistha’ after one of his literary characters.

His major works include ‘Sarmistha'(1859), ‘Buro Shaliker Ghare Ro’ (1860), ‘Ekei Ki Bale Sabhyata’ (1860), ‘Padma Vati’ (1860) and so on. ‘The slaying of Meghnada’ (1861), is considered to be the finest blank verse in Bengali literature. ‘Chaturdaspadi’ (1866), are the compilation of his sonnets.

Shortly after coming to Calcutta, Michael Madhusudan dutt, fell ill due to his drinking habit. His health began to fail and he died on June 29, 1873, three days after the death of his wife Henrietta.