English Prose Translation of "Abhijnaana Saakuntalam of Kalidasa" by Sir Monier Williams (1819–1899).
The term Shakuntala means one who is brought up by birds (Shakun). There are references stating that Shakuntala was found by Rishi Kanva in a forest as a baby surrounded by or as some believe being fed by birds, after being left by her mother, Menaka. In Hindu mythology Sakuntala is the mother of Emperor Bharata and the wife of Dushyanta who was the founder of the Paurav Dynasty. Her story is told in the Mahabarata, Adi Parva and was dramatized by Kalidasa in his play Abhijnaana Saakuntalam (The Recognition of Sakuntala).
Kalidāsa is widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language. His place in Sanskrit literature is akin to that of Shakespeare in English. His plays and poetry are primarily based on Hindu mythology and philosophy.