Analysis of Ambiguity of Space in Shahname according to the Theory of Mythical Thinking with Emphasis on the Stories of Iraj's Enthronement, Captivity of Keykavoos in Hamavaran and the Great War of Keykhosrow and Afrasiab

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Persian Literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Persian Literature



Ambiguity of space in Shāhnāme is an interesting subject which attracts attention in the mythical and heroic parts. Irān is one of those ambiguous places. In three stories of Iraj’s enthronement, imprisonment of Kekāavoos and The Great War of Keykhosrow and Afrasiab, Iran plays an important role in the narrative of the story. Also, ambiguity of Irān and its mythical characteristics is eminent in these stories. In this study, with the use of desk study and content analysis and emphasis on Lévy-Bruhl’s theory of mythical thought we have tried to reach an anthropological reading of these three stories. We have found out that ambiguity of space is rooted in the mythical thinking of the creators of these stories. In these stories, Irān and Iranians are not independent concepts but participate in meaning and cause emotions. Mythical thinking considers any threats to the members of the group as a threat to the group as a whole because it perceives the member and the group as one. According to this kind of thinking, this perception is not paradoxical. So, wars between Iranians and Turanis are something beyond political wars and are an effort to protect Irān and Iranians. Also in these stories that we have analyzed, revenge plays an important role in the narrative of the stories since taking revenge is accepted as an ethical act to save the group in the mythical thinking. Alongside other reasons, ambiguity of space in Shāhnāme is the product of mythical thinking.


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