Volume 8, Issue 34 (2020)                   CFL 2020, 8(34): 253-281 | Back to browse issues page

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Eini feili M, sahraei G, Heidari A. Characteristics of Shah Abbas Stories and their Origin. CFL. 2020; 8 (34) :253-281
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-43820-en.html
1- Lorestan University
2- Lorestan University , ghasem.sahrai@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (267 Views)
Among the kings of Iran, Shah Abbas I, in Safavid period, is a prominent figure who is mentioned in popular tales. In the stories attributed to him, there are outstanding features that have attracted the attention of researchers due to their high frequency. The purpose of this study is to analyze the salient features contained in the stories of Shah Abbas I and to explain the origin of these features. The method of the present study was analytical-descriptive in terms of purpose and based on library studies in terms of data collection. Visiting the library and searching through reliable sources, the authors have collected all the available stories about Shah Abbas I and then analyzed their salient features and origins. Research findings show that these characteristics are either of historical origin or originated from the imagination of the creators of the stories. Some of these characteristics are specific to Shah Abbas and others are general characteristics of kings. Feelings of the unseen voice, professional dervishes, nightlife, simplicity, wisdom and shrewdness, interest in art, gossip, fulfilling desires, solving problems, marrying the poor and accepting humiliation are some of the characteristics of this king. On the other hand, power, justice and fairness, acceptance of judgment and justice, compassion and mercy, punishment of the oppressors and forgiveness (bestowal and forgiveness, and forgiving taxes) are common features for Shah Abbas and other kings. In this article, an attempt has been made to collect the salient features contained in the stories of Shah Abbas and to analyze them based on their origin. Accordingly, the reader realizes the hidden goals of these features and becomes acquainted with their creators.
Research background
There are many studies and articles in the field of storytelling; however, no research or article was found on the stories of Shah Abbas except one written by Mohammad Hanif: An analysis of oral tales related to Shah Abbas Safavid. In this article, Mohammad Hanif focuses on the themes of Shah Abbaschr('39') stories and examines the common customs and interests of the Iranian people.
Most of the stories about Shah Abbas have been collected in the book of stories of Shah Abbas (Motadayyen, 2008), the book of national identity in the folk tales of the Safavid period (Hanif, 2015), and the culture of the legends of the Iranian people (Darvishian and Khandan, 2008). In other books, however, letters and stories about Shah Abbas can be found. These include: The Life of Shah Abbas I (Falsafi, 2012, Vol. 1 & 2), Legends of Lori (Rahmanian, 2000), Legends of Iran (Azar Afshar, 2005), Legends of Eshkor Bala (Eshkevari, 1973), Crystal Gardens of Khayal (Salehi, 1998), Legends and Beliefs Western Iran (Askari Alam, 2018), Local Stories of Isfahan (Farooqi, 1973), Stories of the Persian People (Faghiri, 2003), Legends of the Land of the Evergreen (Mirkazemi, 1995), Stories of the People (Vakilian, 2003). However, no focused study was found that examined the salient features of Shah Abbaschr('39')s stories and the origins of these features.
Aims, questions, and assumptions
Among the stories about Shah Abbas, there are salient points and features that have been mentioned for various reasons. The purpose and necessity of analyzing these stories is to find the origin of these features and their reasons. This article seeks to answer the following questions: What is the origin of the attribution of Shah Abbas story? What are the most important features of Shah Abbas stories? Where do these features come from? Who are the creators of these characteristics and what was the purpose of noting these characteristics in the stories of Shah Abbas?
Shah Abbas is considered as a great hero in popular literature. Because of the effects of his valuable works, he has been quite significant in the lives of ordinary people for his bravery, politics, innate talent, and special ingenuity in managing the affairs of the country, providing valuable services to the people of Iran. He has a place in the heart of people. Accordingly, scholars consider him "a counterpart of organizing princes such as Dariush and Anoushirvan" (Safa, 1990, Vol. 5, p. 23). In addition, he was lucky, because his age coincided with the rise of storytelling. Thus, in his period, "an official dynasty of Sufists, called the Ajam dynasty, was formed with principled organizations and ceremonies for monitoring the work of storytellers" (Mahjoub, 2008, p. 134). The creator of Shah Abbaschr('39')s stories has used two elements of reality and imagination. He used Shah Abbaschr('39')s actions and behaviors in the stories and sometimes portrayed him beyond what he was. In the stories attributed to him, subtle points, words, and terms are found that play a pivotal role, and hide the lofty concepts behind them. In the hidden aspects of these features, the origin of Shah Abbaschr('39')s stories can be examined from two perspectives: First, it seems that a number of these features have been introduced into the stories by the governmental apparatus. In these tales, the courtiers seek to convey the virtues of the kings of their time and compensate for their inability. Second, other categories of these features are embedded in stories by ordinary people. Since "folklore basically reflects the situation, thoughts, and aspirations of the deprived lower classes of the society" (Behrangi, 2010, p. 7), it seems that the share of ordinary and lower people in the emergence of popular stories is higher than the upper classes.
In the stories of Shah Abbas, he is very shrewd and wise; he solves problems and fulfills peoplechr('39')s aspirations; by punishing the oppressors, he shows his support for the poor; he wears simple dervish clothes; he is a night owl; with an unseen voice, he becomes aware of its observance; he is just and forgiving; he marries the poor and allows ordinary people to speak easily in front of him; he is an artist and learns a certain profession like ordinary people. The stories attributed to Shah Abbas have two main sources: some of these stories were issued by the court. The creator of these stories targets the intelligence, power, politics, fairness, and justice of Shah Abbas and seeks to convey these goals. Another part of these stories was created by ordinary people during the time of Shah Abbaschr('39')s successors to remind them of the peace and security of the past. In these stories, people indirectly advise the kings of the time and look for a savior to fulfill their vanished dreams. Mentioning the name of Shah Abbas, they obtained permission to publish the stories. In these tales, the oppressed people speak of a just king, the people who have never exceeded their class associate with the king and whose voices have never been heard, but the king realizes their financial weakness or problem with an unseen voice.
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Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Popular literature
Received: 2020/06/20 | Accepted: 2020/08/13 | Published: 2020/10/1

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