عنوان مقاله [English]
Claude Levi Strauss believes that the logic of myths has a bipolar-opposite structure. In his structuralized theory, the basic assumption is identifying logic behind anything that appears illogical and locating propositional meanings (Ahmadi, 1389, Vol 1/188). He always places two opposite poles on the structure of the human mind and, like other structuralists, he believes the foundation of mythical thinking and, on a larger scale, the culture of all communities is double contrasts (Schools, 2004, 147). In Levi Strauss’ view, myths are fantastic stories that try to solve the dual oppositions between culture and nature in a rational way. In fact, mythical logic compromises conflicting terms and concepts; and substitution and compromise continue until the fundamental contradictions are eliminated (Zamiriyan, 2010, 13).
Due to the final compilation of the collection of Iranian mythos during the era of Mazda's religion (especially the Sassanian era), the structure of Iranian mythology is based on a deep duality that is strongly religious. The story of Zahak Mardush, as the central object in mythology of Iran, is no exception to this rule which, as Satari argues, “All myths and legends, as well as Iran's history and culture, are remarkably shown off by it.” (Satari, 2009, 59).
In the revelation of this narrative, various opposing layers can be observed: Layers such as the confrontation between Ahriman and Ahura Mazda, civilization and nature, and more specific interactions such as the confrontation between blood and milk, snake and cow, Iranian and non-Iranian, etc.
1-2- The opposition of Ahriman and Ahura Mazda: The Main Structure
Due to its religious background, Zahak's narrative has maintained its deeply religious structure in the Shahnameh. The confrontation between Ahriman and Ahura Mazda is the biggest structure in which the other contrasts of Zahak's myth should be placed. Zahak is the most prominent representative and the most famous creation of the devil among Zoroastrian texts. In Shahnameh, he is the only person who was directly contacted by the devil and in his reign, the devil is an active and objective creature. Kaveh refers to Zahak's devilishness explicitly. However, Fereydoun, who is the most triumphant person after Zoroaster in Avesta, is another strain of this opposition and an element that is created only to confront Azhidahak (Zahak). Like Jamshid, Gershasp and Zoraster, he is rewarding of extracting the Houm (Avesta, 2012, 137) and his name has never been mentioned in the Avesta without a reference to his confrontation with Azhidahak.
2_2. Iranian and non-Iranian:
One of the most fundamental elements of the epic, which is always mixed with cosmological and philosophical issues in the myth, is the issue of ethnicity / nationality. In Leo Strauss's essay on race and history, it also implies the question of the identity of the myth as a partial contrast between the great opposition of civilization (culture) and nature. Zahak is an Arab from the Ta'zian plain, and after the Turanians, the most hideous dark clans in Shahnameh are Tazics. It is written in Bondahesh that even Iranians are afraid of the damage of the Tazics quarter to Afrasiab (Dadegi, 2011, 140), and this narrative is implicit in Shahnameh (Ferdowsi, 2007, 2/80). What Islamic historians have also said about the story of Zahak and Fereydoun shows that the the ancient Iranians had a nationalistic look at this narrative (Sedighiyan, 2007, 141-142). About Fereydoun also said that "the purpose of Fereydoun [in Shahnameh] is the Aryan race" (Vahed doost, 2008, 165)
2-3-Cows and snakes, the confrontation between death and life
Another important contradiction that has many mythological elements lies in the contradiction between the snake and the cow. The devilish role of the snake in the mythology of Iran and the connection between Snake and Zahak does not need to explain; On the other hand, the characterization of Fereydun, both in the epic and in the myth, is meaningfully merged with the myth of the cow, and is not limited to the mace’s cow head and Barmayeh cow. In addition to Fereydon, the other personality of this myth, blacksmith Kaveh, is also intercommunicate with cow by some scholars. (Taslimi, 2005, 172)
Another dipole in the confrontation between the snake and the cow is the confrontation between milk and blood. Fereydoun is feeded by the cow's milk, which is killed by the devil Zahak, and Zahak feeds his shoulder’s snakes from the brains of the Iranian youth and, by immersing himself in the blood, tries to avoid the prediction of astronomers and reduce the suffering of his shoulder’ snakes. Therefore, it is possible to believe that the milk is feeder of the Ahuraians and the blood is the food of devils.
2-3- Fereydoun and Zahak; Love and Death Motivation
The first fundamental principle in Levi Strauss's structuralism is that, after "objective" relations, we must look for the underlying structures and the subconscious; Structures that can only be discovered through the inductive formation of abstract patterns (Piaget, 2005, 130). Accordingly, the psychoanalytic interpretation of myth can be one of the basic ways of describing and discovering its implicit interpolations. In this reading, Zahak is the motivation of death, and the Fereydonians are a motivation of life. Zahak is a bloody and aggressive person that is a symbol of death and nonsense in Zoroastrian literature and mythological symbology. When he becomes the king, all the positive manifestations of culture and civilization are marginalized, and knowledge, wisdom and art, which are considered to be instruments of civilization and culture, have destroyed. But his most important confrontation with the greatest symbol of ancient civilization should be in contrast to him and Kaveh. Kaveh, who is a blacksmith in this reading, is a symbol of metals (civilization). Jamshid is the king of Zoroastrian literature who establishes the first civilization, but Zahak disrupts Jamshidi's order and destroys all his civilization achievements. Freud states that neither of these two motivations will be lost, but will be defeated by the opposing one and will lose their domination for some time. He believes that this battle continues for ever. (Freud, 2010, 94). So the origin of this matter that Fereydun doas not kill Zahak, can be analyzed in relation to this Freud's opinion, as Omidsalar also believe in. )Aydenlu, 2008. 20(
2-4- Kaveh and Zahak
Generally, metal is symbol of the enemy of evil in mythology, and this property is in the direction of a good binocular, good / Ahura and bad / evil. In the teachings of zorasrerians, there are also commands to respect of metals. This opposite nature of metal and evil can be seen in the two elements of Kaveh and Zahak.
2-5-Continuation of Zahak's mythological contradictions in Kush Nameh
One of the important points of Kush Nameh is the strife of Kaveh’s descendants to Kush, and there are signs of Kaveh and Zahak's dual reciprocity in this work. Kush with his elephant teeth, which, looks like to his uncle, Zahak, has an ugly and devilish appearance, is an uncontrollable man. Among all the Iranian gladiators, the descendants of Kaveh, Qaran and Qobad are specially placed against Kush, and the battle of Qaran with the Devil's Kush is more prominent than other Iranian gladiators. Kush, despite the all his strength, defeats of Kaveh's children several times or escapes. (Iranshan ibn Abi Al-Khair, 1998, 6117-6305-6999-7112).
2-6- The opposition of a shared society and a centralized government
The other contradiction of this myth is evident in the revelation of the socio-political context. In this perspective, Zahak representing a non-class society and a socialist government, and Jamshid and Fereydoun represent the class society. Ali Hassouri, for the first time, recited this story from this perspective. In post-Islamic writings, Zahak also with private expropriation of the lands divides them to farmers’s cast. He also considers the women belong to all of the people. Mehrdad Bahar has suggested it may be this face of Zahak as an expression of the insurgency of indigenous people of Iran over Aryan aristocracy that has become alienated of the insurrection of a strange king in the myth.(Bahar. 2012, 481).
Hassuori also believes that in fact Zahak is Geomatia-y Mogh, which sought to create a communal society and after apprehension, based on the narrative of official government of his story, has become Shahnameh’s Zahak (Hassouri, 2009, 38).
The opposite of Zahak; Jamshid, which is the manifestation of desirable king in Zoroastrian literature, first divided society into four categories: clergy, warriors, farmers and artisans (Ferdowsi, 2007: 1 / 42-43). The reflection of this class society can be clearly seen in the story of Anoushirvan and shoemaker (Ferdowsi, 2007, 7 / 435-438).
2-7- Reflecting the structure of Zahak's mythological contradictions in the story of Rostam and Esfandiyar
The story of Rostam and Esfandiyar is also a narrative of another confrontation, which, according to some signs, is linked to the great contradiction of Zahak's story, the contrast between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. Esfandiyar is a zoroastrian holy prince who supported the zoroastrian religion and is considered as Zoroaster's political representative in Zoroastrian and Shahnameh’s narratives and believes in religious rule. On the other hand, Rostam is a gladiator, who not only did not respect the religious rule of Goshtasp, but also feel pity when saw the court of Esfandiyar in the days of the kings who legitimized by Farrah in the regime for their government . (Ferdowsi, 2007, 5/366).
From the religious perspective, Rostam stands in contrast to the religious and Ahuraian prince and ultimately does not prosperous. But since the mere attachment of the main elements of this narrative in good and bad poles cannot be linked to the story of Zahak, it is necessary to look for a structural link in this aspect. The key of understanding the link between this story and Zahak's narrative is to look closely at the components of Rostam’s myth. Some of his devilish qualities suggest suspicion that he should be one of the disfavor of the divine religion (Mazdyasna), as Spiegel believes, cause of not call the name of Rostam in pre-Islamic sources is because of his nonreligious actions. (Sarkarati, 1999, 47). On the charge of nonreligious actions of Rostam, in some Islamic sources, such as the History of Sistan and Zain al-Akhbar, can be discounted by Rostam's opposition to Zoroastrianism with any degree of accuracy (Mir Abedini, 2009, 100).
Rostam is a gladiator from Zohak's descent, who is born like devil, from the left side. Moreover, in no way Rostam proud of his descend into Zahak, except against Esfandiyar and this is an important issue. Therefore, it is not far from this if we interpret the conflict between Rostam and Esfandiyar in the structure of the story of Zahak and as one of it’s following religious sects. The convergence of this interpretation with the great structure of narrative Zahak gives us the permission of such a inferring.
2-8- Shahrnaz, Arnavaz and future contrasts of Shahnameh
Although the fundamental contradiction in Shahnameh (the confrontation between Iran and Turan) begins in its epic era, its origins are in the two main characters of the story of Zahak: Shahrnaz and arnavaz. Salm, Tur and Iraj were born from separate mothers. Iraj is son of a wise mother and Salm and Tur are born of a passive and silent mother. On the returning from Yemen, Fereydoun is closing the path to them on the shape of the Dragon magically. Salm escape, Tur attacked, and Iraj tries to escape the dragon by language. “Hesitation and hurry, fear and attack, caution and rush are devilish features that each one of them alone does not work. Iraj, who is born of thought, is choosing the middle ground “ (Parvaresh, 2007, 64). On this basis, the rational extension can be seen as the most fundamental contradiction of existence, that is, the opposition of good and evil in Salm, Tur, and Iraj.