نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی.
1 دانشگاه تهران
2 دانشگاه کردستان
عنوان مقاله [English]
The Shahnameh opens with a preface which probably did not exist prior to Ferdowsi. Even if such a thing existed, it must have been different from the present introduction. Putting this aside, the rest of the Shahnameh has a clear beginning and ending. This has helped critics to determine the structure of the work as a whole by its content. However, we believe the Shahnameh includes two parts: the Mythical and the historical. Nevertheless, these parts are interconnected; the mythical part is concerned with creation and the historical with life and continuity. One fundamental motivation for the compilation of the Shahnameh has been the revival of Iranian identity. This has made the Shahnameh a national epic containing political content from the beginning of its inception. A sort of content which serves a political end. The cultural basis of the Shahnameh stands on the confrontation of Ahouramazda and Ahriman. Such a basis, in principle, justifies the question of creation as well as the continuation of collective life. Moreover, rethinking on any kind of connection between creation and continuity of life ends in a political pattern.
In this article, we have investigated the transformation of the myth of creation from a structuralist point of view. There is no unanimously agreed-upon definition of myth; nevertheless, in most definitions, there is one common point: myth deals with the beginnings and creation, keeping a sacred view concerning creation, and expressing this view in the form of drama, action, experience, and revelation. When we meditate on inner secrets, eternal life and inner existence, we do not have access to a variety of ideas and means to express them. Therefore, we take advantage of ideas in a different system of thought. Myths are stable and powerful; they can continue to live in the hardest of the situations. Positivism and science have been busy striving to put an end to mythical views, but myth has continued its life in newer forms. In mythical thinking there is a tendency towards centralism rather than expansionism. This moves this sort of view towards dense contraction rather than vast expansion. The concentration of all forces on a single point is the necessary condition for any kind of mythical thinking and structure. No matter how far a myth evolves, it keeps revolving around the same basic force field. It never loses its link with its origin though the form and appearance may change.
In ancient Iranian culture, they believed that Ahouramazda initially created a human being (a human prototype) and a cow (a prototype of useful animals). Then, all other animals were created from the decomposition of these two prototypes. Names for these human prototypes are different, and each name may belong to an era of the history of Iran or a special place and area of the country. The first human prototype concept in Iranian culture maintains that this creature is the cause and means for the creation of other human beings. With the death of the human prototype, human beings defeat death and annihilation since the death brings about prosperity and the expansion of green life on earth. In later developments, at the age of rationalism and the expansion of logical thinking, the human prototypes change into the first generation of kings. One of the most dominant mythical patterns that has existed in Iranian thought is “prototypical archetype” of history. This view which has its roots in the myth of creation and the clash between Ahouramazda and Ahriman has made the Iranians to have a structured concept of history since this pattern has a predetermined structure which can accommodate different narratives (real or mythological). If a narrative does not have the capacity to be classified in this pattern, it will be changed, deformed or deleted.
In studying the Shahnameh, it is necessary to pay attention to its creation along with its wholeness and integrated structure. Paying attention to the Shahnameh and its historical adventures, we can realize when Arabs dominated Iran, and had humiliating behavior with the Iranians, a strong tendency came up to revive Iranian identity against Arabs’ humiliation. This problem of identity revival caused the Shahnameh to gain the stature of a national epic position, and find political content, a content based on cultural factors to follow a political mission.
Therefore, the Shahnameh is Iranian philosophy of history. To know Iranian philosophy of history, and national epic as its manifestation, it is necessary to pay attention to the cultural basis on which the stories of the Shahnameh are based on. This cultural basis includes the cosmic battle of Ahouramazda and Ahriman. In this system of thought, human beings were created to help God to defeat evil for the good. Here, two things depend on each other: creation and life continuity. However, any rethinking to link creation with life continuity leads to the manifestation of a political pattern. It is exactly for this transformation that in the Shahnameh the myth of creation transforms into a political one; even creation myth in Shahnameh, and the human being prototype converts into prototype kings and kingly patterns, and battle transfers from good and evil to their agents.
The presence of mythical patterns in national epic explains creation in various forms, especially the mythical from of the government. It shows various forms of government to get to its ideal and final form, Keykhosrov’s kingdom. But this for of government is only ideal. As soon as we get away from the ideal world and approach the realities, we encounter more problems. It seems that dividing the mythical part of the Shahnameh into the Pishdadians and the Kianians, while under the influence of religious texts such as Avesta, shows a kind of structural understanding. The Iranians initially designed a form of primitive government; then, they experimented with this to form a more complex and practical system of government. They then made this developed form of government into an ideal one. After this, they tried to find a real alternative for this ideal form of government. It is for this reason that in the same mythical part of the Shahnameh the prototypical human being, belonging to a specific era of history or a particular place of the country, has turned into father and son in its political manifestation, each of them expressing part of the political thought. However, the design of their power and growth is based on a mythical pattern and familiarization. Some cases such as that of Zahak symbolize the evil, but in cases in which the possibility of father and son relationship has not been possible, and antagonistic aspects have no place in their nature, manifest as dynasty heads, and have had an unnatural birth. In cases without the possibility of being the dynasty head, while having some fame, they have been placed along with the kings and manifest heroic qualities. For this category, we can name Zaal, Kaveh and Rostam. Zahak, too, keeps such a status. However, Zahak has passed through the athletic stage and gained the position of a king. Nonetheless, politically viewed, it is the people who have elected him as their king. However, Zahaak is a monster in Avesta, while in Shah-Nameh, he is an Alien ruler. Therefore, there is a contradiction in the two sources, the former having a Bondaheshti view and the latter a political one. It is for this same reason that Rostam’s mother is a relative of Zahaak. Therefore, it is necessary to think about king and hero formation along with each other. This, in turn, clarifies the clashes of Rostam with Kavus and Goshtasb and Esfandiar.
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