“Paired” Literary Images of the Qur’anic Prophets in Persian Classical Poetry (10th–15th centuries)

русская версия

DOI https://doi.org/10.31696/2618-7043-2023-6-2-369-383
Affiliation: Государственный Эрмитаж
Sections LITERATURE OF THE EAST. Literature of the peoples of the world
Pages 369 - 383

Persian classical poetry (10th–15th centuries) is characterised by a high degree of literary techniques. At the beginning of this period, a number of different images and motifs were formed and subsequently developed. Later on they became widely used by Persian-language poets and remain relevant up to the present day. Canonical images also include characters mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. The small size of the bayt on one hand and the requirements of the classical poetics regarding its semantic and grammatical completeness on the other, resulted in the reduction of many images and motifs to a single word. The term “conceptual word” used by the Russian scholar Natalia Prigarina is very appropriate when describing this phenomenon. The “conceptual words” that refer the reader to a whole set of connotations can also have a parallel or similar meaning in different contexts. This article examines three “paired literary images”: 1. the Qur’anic prophets Moses (Mūsā) and Jesus (‘Īsā), 2. Jonah (Yūnus) and Joseph (Yūsuf), and 3. Jacob (Ya‘qūb) and Job (Ayyūb). The author shows that they are interconnected by the themes of awakening and revival, rescue from imprisonment and obedience. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that not only the semantic similarity of these literary images brings them together, but also the phonetic consonance of the names of these characters, which allows the poets to use different kinds of puns as well as rhythmic and syntactic parallelism. 

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For citations: Моисеева А.В. «Парные» образы пророков в персидской классической поэзии (X–XV вв.). Ориенталистика. 2023; т. 6, 2: 369-383