Volume 14, Issue 54 (2021)                   LCQ 2021, 14(54): 67-104 | Back to browse issues page

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mehri S, Mossaed M. Structural Analysis of the “Black King” Sub-narrative and “Bahram Gor”’s Macro-narrative in Nizami’s Haft Peykar. LCQ 2021; 14 (54) :67-104
URL: http://lcq.modares.ac.ir/article-29-47892-en.html
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Abstract:   (2943 Views)
Nizami's lyrical Manzumeh of Haft Peykar is a very coherent work in which extensive semantic relations and semiotic proportions are quite noticeable. Studying Nizami’s narratives in Haft Peykar led the authors to realize that there is a structural and semantic similarity between the micro-narrative of the King of the Black-clads and the macro-narrative of Bahram Gor in the whole Manzumeh of Haft Peykar. Therefore, in this study, the narrative discourse of these two characters was examined, analyzed and compared. The analysis has showed that both Bahram Gor and the King of the Black-clads were influenced by a grand conceptual metaphor that can be considered as a form of avarice; both characters take great actions in order to achieve their desires. These two actors also experience internal changes in their course of actions to achieve their desires through an unwanted and involuntary process. They do not behave in the same way in exploiting the experience and the guidance they gain along the way, so a different fate befalls them. After ascending to the land of the supreme or the land of the goddess, the King of the Black-clads is condemned to fall due to violating taboos and deviating from the norms, while Bahram Gor, by using the guidelines and gaining awareness, is blessed with a travel to a spiritual journey and ascension to the world of meaning.
Extended Abstract 
Nizami Ganjavi devoted particular attention to the fundamental relation between structure and content which, in addition to increasing the aesthetic aspect, has increased the inductive power of his literary works. Haft Peykar reflects this fundamental order and relation between structure and content more than any other Nizami’s Manzumeh (poems); a poem that contains sub-poems. Each of these poems is a coherent set that is fundamentally related to the other sets and to the entire body of Haft Peykar. In this Manzumeh, all elements of the story, including the colors, the names of the days of the week, the names of mythical people, places and creatures serve to explain Nizami's wise ideas in a systematic structure. The authors of this study discovered a conceptual and meaningful relation between the two characters of Bahram Gor and the King of the Black-clads by examining the linguistic and structural signs of this poem. While the structural relationship of the stories of these two characters is a whole-part; in the first dome, Bahram Gor is the listener of the King of the Black-clads story. Therefore, the authors have conducted this research with the aim of examining the structural and semantic relations between the narrations regarding these two characters. In this study, after presenting the theoretical framework and a summary of the narrative, with a semantic approach, the narrations of Bahram in Haft Peykar and the King of Black-clads are assessed in the first dome and then analyzed and compared with regard to the type of narrative discourse and the changes that have taken place in the characters. The theoretical framework of this research is based on a narrative discourse system. Each narrative discourse system consists of three main elements: “action”, “actor” and “object” and some sub-elements including “actor”, “actionable” and “active”. In this discourse system, before the formation of any action processes, a kind of defect or value crisis is felt and the actor acquiring this value object (a valuable goal that the actor performs his action to maintain or achieve it) begins its active activity. In this way, some issues and people are active helpers of actor, and some obstacles and problems may appear in his way. Eventually, depending on how the actor acts and behaves, this action ends successfully or unsuccessfully, which is called “the result of the action”.
The macro-narrative of Haft Peykar is that Bahram, after his victory over Khaqan (Khan) of Chin (China), remembers the image of the seven princesses he had seen in Khovarnagh, and after proposing them, he brought them to his court and built seven palaces for them. Every day, Bahram becomes the guest of one of the princesses in a dome which is compatible with that day and also in a dress that is the same color as that dome, and hears an instructive story. On Saturday, he hears the story of the Black King from the Lady of India. A king who gets information from the city of Madhushan (a city where all its people are dressed in black) by a traveler and travels to this city to discover the cause of wearing black. In that city, he goes to a garden in the Eden by a butcher's guides. In the Eden Garden, the king enjoys unparalleled pleasures after meeting Torktaz, the supreme lady of that land, and he enjoys every blessing except the possession of Torktaz; but finally, he loses his control and, after thirty days, tries to encroach on her privacy, and consequently is expelled from the Garden of Eden. So he returns to his hometown in regret and in black. After hearing the narrations of the women of other domes, Bahram leaves the seventh dome while he is no longer motivated by material things and worldly affairs and is more in search of spirituality. Therefore, he entrusts the affairs of the country to his children and relatives. One day, while hunting, he enters a cave looking for a zebra and disappears forever. As can be seen, the main characters of both stories start an action to acquire their valuable objects and achieve a result according to the path they choose to reach the object. In fact, the action of the King of Black-clads and the changes he experiences are consistent with Bahram Gor's actions in the macro-narrative of the Haft Peykar poem. Thus, both have great and far-reaching desires, and both are greedy and steadfast in fulfilling their desires; but they take different paths, and in the end, one leads to defeat and the other to victory. These two actors, in addition to their activities to achieve their goals, experience some internal changes through an unwanted process; The King of Black-clads travels from India to China in search of the cause of the stranger's blackness; but he inadvertently embarks on a spiritual journey and ascends to a higher land (the land of Torktaz), where he experiences companionship with the Goddess (Torktaz); but because of the strength of his carnal desires, he loses patience and perseverance, and eventually his taboo-breaking acts causes him to fall and be expelled from the Eden. Achieving self-awareness as well as mourning the descent from the land of the goddess are among the spiritual transformations of the King of Black-clads. Bahram Gor's goal is to build the seven-dome and marry the world's seven top ladies; but women's narratives play an important role in the spiritual transformation of Bahram. In fact, his journeys in the domes are journeys from ignorance to wisdom and consciousness. The temporary residence of Bahram in these domes is a symbol of the temporary residence of man in this world to gain experiences and reach self-awareness. This self-awareness culminates with Bahram's arrival to the cave; because his disappearance in the cave is a sign of his spiritual perfection (annihilation).
The color black in these two narratives is one of the linguistic signs that properly reflects the spiritual and inner changes of the characters. The king's blackness after his descent from the land of Torktaz is a sign of mourning and Bahram's blackness in the same dome is a sign of his ignorance that he gradually becomes aware of the process and finally leaves the last white dome. Black in the back of the narrative scene signifies Bahram's going to the cave, for which various interpretations can be considered; the darkness of the cave can be interpreted as death and annihilation, immortality (like Kay Khosrow and Khezr), being in the first stage of a new journey and being unaware of it or reaching a sublime position. Thus, the micro-narrative of the King of Black-clads and the macro-narrative of Haft Peykar have a similar structure in terms of narrative discourse.
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Article Type: Original Research | Subject: Narrative Science
Received: 2020/11/24 | Accepted: 2021/07/1 | Published: 2021/07/1

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