The concept of “love” according to rumi and Shakespeare, A comparative study of Mathnavi and Antonu and Cleopatra

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Doğu Araştırmaları Dergisi sayı 2009–2

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The main motif behind most of Shakespeare’s tragedies is the concept of Love. This concept may also be seen as the major theme in many of the stories of Rumi’s Mathnawi and Dīvân–e Shams. The fate of this love is usually the death of the lovers by the end of the story. This common theme, along with the common ending of such stories, is the main topic of this article. In this work, the definitions of love are briefly provided according to Sufism and Rumi’s ideas, and then 11 common items with respect to the concept of love are studied in the works of these two great literary figures. The data for this research have been collected based on Shakespeare’s tragedies, and Rumi’s verses, and the concept of love has been studied in two levels of Form and content. The idea of love forms the basis of Shakespeare’s tragedies, and leads to the death of the lovers. Therefore, death is also studied within this framework along with love. The ultimate goal of this article is to provide an analysis of the common features of love in Shakespeare’s work from the eye of an oriental, Persian-speaking reader, who is more acquainted with Rumi’s works. Among Shakespeare’s tragedies, Antony and Cleopatra has been chosen as the main source, however, the other great tragedies of his have not been neglected. KEY WORDS Rumi, Shakespeare, love, Antony and Cleopatra, Mathnawi.


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