The Juror-poet: a New Assessment of William Jones

Kush Sengupta

M. Phil Research Scholar, University of Delhi.

ORCID 0000-0003-1088-1211. Email:

 Volume 10, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n1.11

Received September 17, 2017; Revised December 15, 2017; Accepted December 30, 2017; Published February 04, 2018.


When we consider the career of William Jones, terms like “Indologist” or “Philologist” are chiefly used. Even in the canon of Jones himself, his juridical and academic writings occupy a higher pedestal than his literary endeavors. This has led to a lopsided view of this dynamic man. In this paper, I seek to propose a new appellation for Jones, preferring to call himself a “Jurist-Poet”. The cognate term as I would believe can be best used to suit the ambivalent nature of his poetry. It is my contention that Jones was simultaneously in and out of the process of the Empire building and critical focus has been to stress on any one aspect of his character. The term that I propose to use for Jones would help to encapsulate the ambiguities that occur in him. It can only be achieved by a close reading of his poetry and using it to judge him as a true vehicle of the trajectory of his career.

Keywords: William Jones, Orientalism, Colonial India, Juror-Poet, Religious Hymns