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1- MA Student, Linguistics Department, Faculty of Letters and Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
2- Associate Professor, Linguistics Department, Faculty of Letters and Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran , negar.davariardakani@anu.edu.au
Abstract:   (505 Views)

Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) is a principal textual heritage reflecting Iranian identity; a concept which is heavily founded in the two elements of self” and other”. The present study is aimed at rethinking self” and other” in Shahnameh by a discursive linguistic exploration in the first story  of the heroic section of Shahnameh- the story of Bijan and Manijeh. It explores the characters of the story through Gees discursive concept of identity and relying on speculations of self” and other” by contemporary philosophers such as Levinas, Arendt and Beauvoir. In the present study the foregrounded identities of the story are observed on a spectrum of absolute self” to absolute other” having in mind that self and other” could either be defined in reference to the author or to the key character of the story i.e. Rostam. Furthermore, the role of gender in defining self and other is examined. Generally, 30 identities are represented in the story, two of which are Ferdowsi and his beloved in the introduction part of the story and 28 (71.4% male and 28.6% female) in the body (1256 verses). The study shows that despite our expectation, Bijan and Manijeh are not the most foregrounded identities of the story, as the main character remains to be Rostam. Furthermore, the frequency of Manijehs presence is less than KeyKhosrow, Gorgin and Giv. The study shows that Self” and Other” seem to be closely related to and defined by the two dichotomies of Iranian /non-Iranian and ethical / non-ethical. Bizhan, KeyKhosrow and Giv are the closest selves to Rostam, while Manijeh however transforming into self in the course of the story, remains to be considered as a dominated other. Nevertheless, Gorgin who is considered a self at the onset of the story shifts in an opposite direction later. However, he remains to be a self for Rostam up to the end of the story. On the other hand, Piran whose actions are ethical remains to be considered as other for Rostam. Afrasiab seems to be presented as the absolute other for both Rostam and Ferdowsi, with minor status transformation for the author. Nevertheless, Manijeh and Piran seem to be considered as self for Ferdowsi. In sum, identities appear to be more capable of transferring along the spectrum in Ferdowsis view; an issue to be studied in future studies.

Type of Study: Research | Subject: Inscriptions of the building
Received: 2020/10/31 | Accepted: 2021/01/1 | Published: 2021/01/29

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