عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the ancient indo European motifs is the story of a young hero who is destined to rescue a woman or king from the demon or enemy and has to fulfill several difficult quests during which he transforms to a mature champion. After finishing these breathtaking quests, the young hero develops into a complete champion and according to Iranian tales, he emerges as the “world champion”. The concern of this study is to investigate the mythical structure of the seven quests that the Sam’s clan has to confront with the main assumption that through studying this mythical structure, it is possible to find a unique pattern that not only follows the same rule in the shape and order of the quests but also in their infrastructure.
Structural mythology is an approach in myth analysis that tries to find the structural rule of the myth through studying the pillars of the myth narrative and their syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. This method which is derived from structural linguistics was first introduced by Claude Levi-Strauss and is known as “Structural Study of Myth”. Levi-Strauss believes that each myth narrative consists of small parts which he calls “mythemes”. Structural study of myths intends to find these relations in a systematic way. This relation is not necessarily horizontal or as he says “diachronic” and it is possible that the mythemes are displaced in different narratives with the same structure. It is important to re order them in their correct place in order to rebuild their bundles of relations and find out their differences.
It seems that we can find out about the same structural pattern of the seven quests and discover the narrative unity and their structural rules through that. We can find similar and repetitive structures in the seven quests we have studied for the Sam’s clan which reveal the structure of the myth.
In all of these narrations, the king or the girl is abducted by the demon and the young hero travels west to its nest and after facing difficult tests and fulfilling the quests, he eventually finds his lost one and frees him/her from the demon through a pitched battle. The structure of these seven quests are almost alike and only differ in very small details. We see the same repetitive parts from the first quest which is normally on a flat land to the seventh one in the depth of pit in a high mountain. The obstacles that each hero has to overcome and how he does it follows the same pattern in all narrations. The theme of each quest shows that each of the four heroes deal with the same similar obstacles and overcome them using similar methods.
The hero’s path is from east to west and from below to the above. But at the end of the road when the hero reaches the peak of the mountain, he finds his lost one in a downhill resulting in a new path from the top to the bottom. If we consider this movement as a curve, it reminds us of the Sun’s movement that rises from the East and sets in the West; disappears at night and comes back to the East in the next morning. The hero in the seven quests goes through a curve path that starts from a flat land in the East and hurries to the demon’s nest on a mountain peak in the West to rescue the girl or the king and he finds his lost one down a pit. This path demonstrates the daily movement of Sun from East to West and shows that the pattern of the seven quests is in fact the rescue mission of the Sun from the darkness demon that resides in the West.
Mani’s symbolic narration of the creation myth can also be considered as one of the most important signs of this pattern. It talks about the apprehension of parts of light by dark and its eventual freedom and return to its main land. Based on this theory, the seven quests is the result of instability of good and evil or light and dark. At the beginning of all of such narratives, the good forces or forces of the light and the evil forces or forces of the dark reside in their own territory. The evil forces capture the light (girl or king) by a trap. This is when the conflict between the two forces starts. In the end the hero defeats the demon and sets the light free and the dark forces are demolished for good and the conflict is resolved.