Fateful Women in Ferdowsi Shahnameh

  •  Soheila Loveimi    


Shahnameh as one of the most important literary works that reflects the pure thoughts of the past Iranians, plays a key role in preserving the Iranian cultural heritage and national identity. Mythology helps us to understand the civilizations included the cultures. For example, the image of the women in the literary works is different from their modern popular image that ignores the real position of the women. Abu l-Qasim Ferdowsi, the highly revered Persian poet, is one of the literary figures who considered the role of women in his literary masterpiece in spite of the prevailing attitudes towards the women in his era. Some studies, due to the lack of understanding the Ferdowsi’s poems, have claimed that he is a misogynist poet. However, Ferdowsi has equally ranked men and women in his long epic. For example, there are a number of chaste and compassionate mothers in Shahnameh, who play a vital role in shaping the epic character of the heroes. Or, the women who fall in love and relinquish all her possessions for the sake of fruition, such as Manijeh and Katayun who leave the king’s court for the sake of love. Ferdowsi’s imagery of women is not a descriptive account of their charming superficial beauties, but it reflects the wisdom, bravery, and belligerency of these women.

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