Semiotic reading of water and fire symbols in the poems of Shafiei-Kadkani and Adonis based on the model of "Charles Sanders Peirce"

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Water and fire are two categories that have long been used as symbols among different nations and cultures and have been respected by nations as two important elements of nature. These elements are considered holy, purified and pure symbols in many places. Therefore, for a better understanding and correct recognition of these signs and symbols, there must be a specific framework and method; One of these methods is the use of semiotic knowledge. Charles Sanders Peirce is one of the famous semioticians who presented a new way to understand signs. His semiotic system, unlike Saussure's, which is based on a binary model of the signifier and the signified, is a three-dimensional model consisting of representation, subject, and interpretation. In fact, it is with the connection of these three aspects that the main meaning of signs is obtained and the meaning hidden in the lower layers of the text is determined. On the other hand, after the Second World War, due to the inappropriate social and political atmosphere prevailing in Iran and the Arab countries, as well as the stagnation and decay in the society, many poets of the Persian language and the Arab world, in their poetry, turned to the use of symbols and the myths were inclined. In the meantime, Shafi'i Kodkeni and Adonis also used a lot of symbols in their poetry due to their full knowledge of literature and national and world heritage. In fact, Shafii Kodkani can be considered one of the most knowledgeable poets of Persian literature, who is fully aware of the situation of his time, and the use of symbols and myths in his poetry is considered one of his ways to express the disordered state of society. Adonis is also one of the most prominent contemporary Arab poets who has always tried to convey a new attitude to the audience in his poetry. He is a modern poet whose all efforts are aimed at getting rid of the past and looking to the future. For this reason, he turns to the world of symbols because he cannot clearly express his mentality in the petrified Arab society. On the other hand, the symbols of water and fire are considered to be one of the most frequent symbols in the poetry of these two poets due to their value and meaning in human life and their alignment with the fundamental thoughts and views of Shafii Kodkani and Adonis, and the reason for choosing these two symbols is also for analysis in this article, the special importance of these two symbols compared to other symbols in the poems of these two poets and also due to the closeness of the concepts of these two symbols and their great use in their poems.
The present study tries to explore the layers of meaning and the function of the symbols of water and fire in the poems of Shafii Kodkani and Adonis in a descriptive-analytical and comparative manner and using the semiotic model of Pierce.  In this article, the researchers have tried to refer to different sources and use the library method to randomly select poems from the whole divan and tell the audience the invisible world of meanings hidden in the layers of the words water and fire. In order to get the implied meanings of these words, they have first considered the general atmosphere of the society mentioned by the two poets and then by examining the coexistence of other words and using the two sides mentioned in Peirce's theory, i.e. representation and subject, they have reached the third side and the final goal, which is the interpretation of the word.
Results and Discussion
Shafii Kodkani and Adonis are among the great and contemporary poets of Persian and Arabic literature, whose poems have attracted the attention of many researchers and many researches have been done on their poems. But with the investigations that were done in reliable scientific databases, it seems that none of these researches were based on semiotic theories and this issue demanded that a semiotic-centered research be done on the poems of these two poets. Therefore, it can be said that no independent research based on semiotics has been done on the poems of these poets and only in some researches, some topics of semiotics have been briefly mentioned. Therefore, the difference between this research and the previous researches is that, firstly, only two symbols have been specially selected from among the symbols in the poems of these two poets to make the discussion more specific; The second difference is that this research analyzes the symbols in a comparative way in order to determine the commonalities and differences in meaning between the two poets. Another difference that can be pointed out is that in the present article, the symbols are examined based on Peirce's theory of semiotics in order to achieve the underlying layers of meaning in the mentioned symbols in a systematic way and in a specific framework. From the results of this research and the meanings that are obtained from the words water and fire in the poems of these two poets, we can refer to flow, cultivation and purification, metamorphosis, annihilation, life, renewal, greatness and glory of the past, war, new birth and love and feelings mentioned.
By examining the political, social and cultural conditions governing the society of two modernist poets, namely Shafii Kodkani and Adonis, it can be seen that in some moments of their poetic lives, due to the chaotic social and political atmosphere and the stagnation in the society, they symbols are used to express their thoughts in order to convey their constructive views to the audience and free people and society from ignorance and corruption and guide them towards modernization and progress. Among the signs, they use more natural symbols, and among natural symbols, they use more symbols that are in line with their thoughts and ideas. Therefore, they pay more attention to the symbols of water and fire, and these two words are among the most frequent words and signs in the poems of these two poets. In the current study, considering the semiotic model of Peirce in the function of water and fire symbols in the poems of the mentioned poets, it is concluded that the representation of water and fire, which is actually the signifier, is the phonetic image of the words and the meaning of the first signs. In fact, Shafi'i Kodkani and Adonis use these mental and vocal forms and abstract concepts such as flow, cultivation and purification, metamorphosis, annihilation, life, renewal, greatness and glory of the past, war, new birth, love and feelings are expressed for the audience in a concrete and sensual way. Therefore, it can be said that these abstract concepts are the subject of Peirce's semiotics model, which is considered as the secondary meaning or the signifiers and semantic elements of words. In order to guide the audience from the primary meaning or the representation to the secondary meaning which is the subject and object, the poet draws the space of the poem in such a way that the reader can easily understand the function of these signs and to achieve the third side of Peirce's theory, which is the interpretation.
Journal of Research in Comparative Literature, Volume:13 Issue: 52, 2024
105 to 130  
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