Political Lessons from Lilit Phra Lor

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Somkiat Wanthana

Abstract

          Believed to have been composed in the early Ayutthaya period (1350-1569 AD), Lilit Phra Lor is a masterpiece Thai tragic romance, equivalent to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It was praised in 1916 by the Literature Society as the best example of ‘lilit’ poetic form and has been regarded by students of Thai literature as supremely excellent in plot, contents, verse, and language.


          In this research article, the author points out that, besides its poetry value, Lilit Phra Lor is a ‘text’ conveying political lessons that the king must be considerate and refrain from being extreme in love affairs, otherwise the king himself and his kingdom will encounter a great loss. The death of Phra Lor due to his passion for Phra Phuan and Phra Phaeng is a good example of extreme love which results in his kingdom being left to suffer its own fate.

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