عنوان مقاله [English]
Nezami's Haft Peykar is one of the poetry collections which is close to the style of the contemporary stories from the variety of characterization methods' point of view, but it has not received much attention to its story features. Thus, in this research it has been attempted to consider character and characterization elements in this work, using descriptive-analytical method in order to answer the following questions:
1. How are the characters drawn in Haft Peykar?
2. What techniques did Nezami utilize for characterization in Haft Peykar?
The results demonstrate that Nezami could introduce his story’s characters with his desired attitude to the readers, using the indirect characterization by the use of tools such as dialogue, interaction, names, colors and description. The main character in this poem is Bahram-E-Goor; on this character, Nezami used all characterization tools. There are many characters in the story due to its wide span. In addition to the main character, there are some other characters such as intimate character, minor character and female characters which are among the discussed topics in this study.
Key Words: Nezami, Haft Peykar, storytelling, character, characterization.
Edward Morgan Forster in his Aspects of Novel believes that story is “narrating the events chronologically” (Forster, 2012: 42) and that real story should make the listener want to know what will happen next. According to Forster, these two features make a work criticizable as a story (ibid). Out of the elements and tools listed for the creation of a story, characters of the story have specific roles (Mastur, 2005: 32). Since the characters of a story have decisive roles in the creation of events, development of the plot, sequence, and continuation of events (Rezvanian, 2010: 110), the way of applying this element and the type of processing characters in fictional works is significantly important. Although the appearance of short story and novel in the contemporary form does not have a long background, many centuries ago, some of the Persian literary writers such as Nezami used some tools and elements for the creation of their fictional collections which are nowadays considered as the main factors for consolidation of stories. Nezami’s Haft Peikar is a poetry collection that pictures the Sasanid Bahram IV’s life. Its structure is so that the story can be divided into two parts: the first part is related to events of Bahram Sasanid’s life from his birth to his mysterious death, and the second part is about seven stories narrated by his seven wives. These stories remind the reader of the stories of The Thousand and One Nights. In addition to the inclusion of advice, these stories display Nezami’s mastery of writing fictions. One of the outstanding features of this work is telling details of stories and narrating the dialogues exchanged between different characters which have been used by the poet as an effective tool for characterization. The existence of different and various stories in Haft Peikar and Nezami’s variety of narratives in his stories has led to plentitude and variety of applications of characters.
This survey studies the element of character and characterization in Nezami’s fictional poetry collection, Haft Peikar, through library study approach in the descriptive-analytical method. It also explains the role of Bahram Gur as the protagonist in the progression of the events.
The main character of Haft Peikar who is the protagonist of the story is Bahram Gur. Other characters of the story like Yazdgerd, Neman, Monthir, Semnar, Shideh, Nersi, Fetneh, princesses of Haft Eghlim, Rast Roshan, etc. are all minor characters who only appear when they want to help Bahram reach his goals. In Haft Peikar, Nezami is after an ideal king with sublime humane characteristics. He uses all elements and characters in order to develop and promote this ideal king. At the beginning of the story, in order to introduce the just and fair king, Bahram, the poet places him against his father, Yazdgerd, the cruel king of Iran. He compares Bahram to a gem that has come out of a rock’s –Yazdgerd’s- heart. With this direct statement, he not only unveils the negative and cruel face of Yazdgerd, but also introduces Bahram’s character to the readers as the other side of the coin. Bahram is the realization of a fair king who spreads justice. After becoming the king, he first presents a speech on justice. His words indirectly represent his moral characteristics.
From the carried out study, it can be said that centuries before the advent of the modern short stories or novels in the current forms, Nezami Ganjavi had applied elements in processing his fictional characters which are nowadays known as main elements of the story. A variety of characters and making use of different methods of characterization have brought this poetry collection closer to the contemporary works of fiction. Although the main story and the characters are taken from the real history, the poet’s ingenuity, wit and tremendous imagination in building the story have given a specific shape to it. The protagonist of the story is the Sasanid Bahram Gur, and almost all events of the story have been organized to promote and develop his character. Other characters have appeared because of him and in order to help the main plot. They are referred to as the minor, subjective and matching characters. Also, women, who are presented only in some parts of Bahram’s life, play significant roles in the development of his character. Nezami uses a mixture of two -direct and indirect- approaches in processing his fictional characters, and alongside a direct description of the features of his characters, he uses the indirect tools such as dialogue, action, plot, names, describing their appearances, and the environment to introduce them.