Epic and National Self-Consciousness: The Case of Shahnameh Intl

J Intl, Humanities
2014 J. Humanities   unpublished
This paper aims to explore the relationship between epic poetry and national self-consciousness and in particular study how Shahnameh may be analyzed from this angle. What is the relationship between the Shahnameh and the Iranian national self-consciousness? What can one say about the Iranian national self-consciousness on the basis of this text? What does the text reveal about the Iranian identity? A related question should also be answered, is the Shahnameh an epic? This is not a pedantic
more » ... tion concerned merely with definitions and labels. As will become clear, an epic reveals a great deal about the national consciousness of the people to whom it belongs (or who belong to it); to identify a poem as an epic, is to be making an important statement about the national consciousness of a people. The question of whether the Shahnameh is an epic or not is hence far from a pedantic one. It takes us right into the heart of Iranian national consciousness.