Serenading prologues in Shahnameh
When we look deeply at the structure of Iranian famous letter –Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, it becomes clear that besides its stable and rigid content, its format and process of narration of its stories are also done scholarly and intelligently. The prologues of the stories are one of the most effective methods in the disciplined structure of stories. From among numerous numbers of story prefaces in Shahnameh, there are ten of them that are exhaustive prologue; which three of them are more alike in structure and have some differences with other ones. These three prefaces include prologues of “Key Khosrow”, “Rostam and Esfandyar”, and Kingdom of Hormozd” stories; which have a similar structure with Serenadings. They have obvious similarities with Serenading in: a) number of verses, b) theme, situation, narration, and their characteristic, which recall the first Serenading of odes to mind. So, we can say: the three mentioned prefaces have some features in common both in prologue and serenading. According to the structure (number of verses, pseudonym verse, subject, narration and characteristic), they are like serenading and, from the aspect of prophecy, they take the burden of prologue. But, these three serenading prologues, however, have some differences with ode serenading. They should have an amount of indirect and summarized expression of the text, because they have the prophecy of being a prologue; on this basis, the story they narrate on the ground of nature is allegorical and the natural characters used within them are symbols of the original characters of the story which symbolically express the sense of the story. The concept of these primary verses is somehow close to the whole text of the story; so, after reading them, we understand the feelings of happiness and sorrow which we would confront with in the whole text. But, ode serenading has not such a prophecy, since the main purpose of serenading is to create interest and emotion in the reader about the principal goal of the poet. There are three reasons why such prologues exist in the Shahnameh: first, era of Ferdowsi; because in this era, Samanian and Ghaznavian, poetry in the genre of Khorasani was in its highest place and all around Iran and Khorasan land was full of poets and poetry. Second, the genre of Khorasani poetry. The main sense of this genre was ode and the related poets had a realistic and concrete view to the surrounding nature. It is good to say about the mentioned factors: living in an environment which is full of poetry would irresistibly affect the poets and their sensations. The third factor is the entire familiarity of Ferdowsi with the poetic genres and poetry technics of his era. All of these factors had affected Ferdowsi’s serenading and Khorasani genre of poetry. A point to add is: the art of prologue is not the result of serenading ode. However, this is not separated from serenading ode and hasn’t been changed. Such an art has been existed independently and had been used in the poems, but without any special name; until the 8th century which Khatib Ghazvini in his summary of “Meftah al-Olum” of Sakaki with the subject:”Talkhis al-Meftah fi al-ma’ani val bayan val badie’” called it prologue.
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