Volume 8, Issue 36 (2021)                   CFL 2021, 8(36): 159-189 | Back to browse issues page

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motevassel M, Dashti S M. The Female Characters in the Poem of Karistan Hatem. CFL. 2021; 8 (36) :159-189
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-45643-en.html
1- phd student of persian literature
2- Assistant Professor Salman Farsi University of Kazerun , seyyedmohammaddashti@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (269 Views)
Karistan Hatem, a single manuscript which is kept in the manuscript Treasury of the Leipzig University, is the work of a poet named Farid Ibn Ghazfar. This legend is a poetic narration of one of Hatem Taichr('39')s stories. The poem gives a description of the mania of the Sham princes named Munir for Hosn Banu, the beautiful queen of Khorasan, and about Hatemchr('39')s sacrifices that led to their marriage. Although the protagonist of this story is an invincible superhuman, his activism owes much to the dramatic role-play of the women in the story. In the following article, after briefly introducing the manuscript, the story has been deciphered from the viewpoint of the female characterschr('39') performance. By giving an in-depth investigation and analysis, it can be concluded that the story is based on the ancient beliefs left over from matriarchy. This claim is corroborated by implications for motherhood, including the city of women, totemism, exogamy, plant God themes, and sacrifice for the mother queen. Another result of this research is to deepen this story and its capacity to accept comprehensive readings of mythology, sociology, and psychology.
Research Background
Although Hatem and his stories, according to Ismaili (2007, p. 21), were very famous in the tenth and eleventh centuries AH, they have not received the due attention of scholars. So, only two related scientific studies can be mentioned. First of all, we should mention Hatam Nameh, which is an edition of two prose narrations of Hatemchr('39')s story by Ismaili (2007). In the introduction of this book, the editor has mentioned different narrations of the story and a brief description of its features. Another research in this field is the article written by Shakibi Mumtaz and Hosseini (2012). The herochr('39')s passing and his attainment of individuality are considered in the final part of the story. Since there is no information about this version in the biography books and sources of the history of literature, it is hoped that the present study will be able to remove this unknown system from the forgetfulness of history and take a step towards the scientific critique of the story.
Aims, questions, and assumptions
Karestan Hatem is a narration of the poem Haft Sir Hatem. From Hatemchr('39')s oral story, several poetic narrations have been adapted in Urdu, Hindi, Maleh, Dutch, Turkish, and the European languages (Ismaili, 2007, pp. 49-50), which show the extraordinary popularity of this work among the people, but so far in the sources, no adaptation and narration of Persian poetry from the story of Hatem has been mentioned. In Karestan Hatem, women play a key role and they are the cause of the main herochr('39')s transformation. The purpose of this article is to explain the position of the female characters in this story and the reason for the formation of this structure. 
In this article, the following questions are investigated:
A. What is the mythological or psychological interpretation of each of the main female characters in the story of Karestan Hatem?
B. From a social point of view, are the women of this system independent and active activists, or does the story have a patriarchal context against which women are subjugated and passive?
Given the reasons presented, the present study seeks to prove the hypothesis that this story, from a mythological and historical perspective, is a representation of the era of motherhood. From a psychological point of view, each of the female characters in the story recreates one of the levels of the human psyche. And socially, most of the women in this story seek to prove their existence in the face of a multifaceted view.
Some scholars believe that "women did not have a clear and decisive position in the old patriarchal society, and subsequently, in various genres of literature, but that they usually played a vague, decorative and marginal role, leaving the main roles to men" (Bagheri, 2013, p. 120). However, in some folk tales, women have a very high status.
Anthropologists consider the way of life based on monogamy and agriculture of primitive societies to be the main reason for the formation of matriarchy. They argue that in the Paleolithic period, hegemonic ideas did not exist among primitive and savage prehistoric societies, and that those peoples were equated in access to resources and wealth. Therefore, motherhood does not necessarily mean the superiority of women over men, but that this system is based on the equality of the two sexes (Taheri, 2019, p. 392). The reason for the extraordinary importance of women in such a society has been the secrecy of their fertility. Examining the female characters in this story reveals manifestations of motherhood in the story. Evidence such as the existence of exogamy, sacrifice for the queen mother, and totemism show the roots of feminism in this story.  On the other hand, there are four women with whom Hatem is married four times from the human soul, and this story shows the union of the conscious and the unconsciousness of the hero. From a social point of view, the witchcraft of women and their obligation to accept the customs of society indicates the domination of women in the patriarchal societies, which is presented in different ways in this story.
The public story of Karestan Hatem has frequent symptoms of the matriarchy era.
From a social point of view, this story also reveals signs of the resistance of female characters to the manifestations of a patriarchal society. In this story, we can see a patriarchal atmosphere in which a woman is a means of maintaining power and has no independent voice, falling asleep in magic or becoming a passive creature.
But these signs are diminished by the manifestations of female authority in connection with the days of matriarchy, so far as it gives a feminine texture to the story. On the other hand, many women in this story, from different psychological points of view, are different manifestations of the anima and the subconscious of the psyche. In fact, the story is a series of unification of the herochr('39')s conscious and unconscious spheres. Finally, by examining this story from different perspectives, one can get the wide capability of a public story for various interpretations.
Bagheri, B. (2013). Active women and passive women in folk prose stories. Popular culture and Literature, 1, 120-142.
Ismaeili, H. (2007). Hatam-Nameh. Moein.
Shakibi Momtaz, N., & Hoseini, M. (2012). The herochr('39')s journey in the story Hammame Badgard based on the analytical method of Campbell and Jung. Literary research, 22, 33-63.
Taheri, S. (2019). The social status of women in the ancient civilization of the burnt city. Women in culture and art, 3, 391-411.
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Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Folklore literature
Received: 2020/08/31 | Accepted: 2020/11/9 | Published: 2021/01/29

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