Paper Information

Journal:   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES (THE JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES)   WINTER 2007 , Volume 14 , Number 1; Page(s) 89 To 98.
 
Paper: 

TA'ZIYEH, THE ART OF THE IRANIAN "PASSION PLAY"

 
 
Author(s):  MOKHTABAD EMRAEI S.M.*
 
* TARBIAT MODARES UNIVERSITY, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

The term "Ta'ziyeh" refers to an Iranian dramatic genre which might be compared to the Western Passion Play and is the only indigenous drama of the entire Islamic world. This ritual drama has both an Islamic and a Persian heritage, the central theme of which is the tragic and heroic martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and the third Imam of Shi'ite in the desert of Karbala in 680 A.D. Shiites believe that Imam Husayn sacrificed his life to be their Intercessor on the Day of Judgment.
The history of Ta'ziyeh did not begin with the events at Karbala rather it dates back to pre-Islamic culture as well as the dramatic expressions of both the Memorial of Zarer3-a religious epic from the Sassanid era, (226-652 A.D.), and the Tragedy of Siyavush,-a work from ancient Iran, which precedes the Ta 'ziyeh play by 1,200 years.
The tradition continued from an early processional form to the Magtal-Khani (a recital of martyrdom stories), until it took a dramatic shape. Further, both the playwrights and the structure of the Takiyeh performance building, its performance site, contributed to the evolution of Ta'ziyeh. In this paper, the emphasis is to demonstrate the character of Ta'ziyeh, its foundation and, the development of its various elements. It also attempts to reveal, from an objective stance, its value to a people who embrace it as a kind of ritual, both a holy and national art form. Ta'ziyeh is a kind of ritual drama which has fascinated some of the world's most famous theatre historians, critics, and performers, who view in it some elements of the postmodern theatre.

 
Keyword(s): TAZIYEH, KARBALA, IMAM HUSAYN, MUHARRAM, SAFAVID, QAJAR, MARTYRDOM
 
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