عنوان مقاله [English]
In terms of the architecture of words and aesthetics of language use, Hafez Shirazi is the best orator and craftsman in Persian language. One of the most prominent features of the use of language in Hafez’s poetry is the density of various meanings in as few words as possible. This is mostly achieved by means of his frequent use of ambiguity in poetry. While previous studies have examined artistic techniques, aesthetic devices, and poetic ambiguity in Hafez, the issue of ambiguity produced through the use of statements with two opposing meanings remains to be further investigated. In Persian rhetoric, this is known as muhtamel alzeidin. This essays does not examine ambiguity in words with multiple meanings; rather, it is concerned with the representation of statements which contain two opposing meanings. The reason why this device is used in Hafez’s poetry can be put down to the fact of a repressive society. However, some of the examples discussed in this essay show that while such poetic device may have been used for social criticism, it has gradually came to constitute one aspect of Hafez’s own language and mind. Even though Hafez constantly criticizes hypocrisy and pretense, he himself becomes a hypocrite under the pressures of society.
The method used in this study is descriptive and based on content analysis. Accordingly, certain lines in Divan-e Hafez which represent the use of statements with two opposing meanings are selected. Then, in light of their theme they are categorized into two groups: social and romantic themes. Finally, analyzing the stylistic techniques of such statements, the roots, reasons, and effects of Hafez’s views are studied.
Hypocrisy is one of most unpleasant moral vices. In a society fraught with pretense and hypocrisy, the first moral virtue that is damaged is trust. This destructive vice, when it becomes so pervasive in a society, manifests itself in various forms to remain unnoticed. In repressive societies, when the power apparatus is more oppressive, people adopt more complicated ways of hypocrisy and pretense. Hypocrisy has always existed in human life. As soon as social life began on earth, people had to hide those aspects of their behavior which could have hurt their coexistence with others. This helped them become like others. Rooted in social and political causes, the 14th century when Hafez lived was a society driven by hypocrisy and insincerity. This is why Hafez decided in his poems to criticize this vilest of moral deficiencies. As a committed poet, he was never indifferent to what went on his own society. However, in his own poems one could see examples of Hafez’s own hypocrisy. Some of these are so poetically ambiguous that their affective dimension overrides the social critical dimension. Hence, the question is if the use of statements with two opposing meanings is only a poetic device or a tool for social criticism.
To conclude the issues discussed in this essay we should note the following points about Hafez and his poetry: first, masterful poetic ability; second, committed spirituality and social engagement; third, historical context; and fourth, hypocrisy and its function. On the one hand, Hafez is the poet par excellence in creating ambiguous and layered opposing statements among the Persian poets. On the other, he constantly criticizes insincerity, pretense, and hypocrisy.
Hafez’s poems should be primarily looked at as literary text. Thus his poems cannot be reduced to logical statements. However, a close reading of his poetic structures may help us gain sociological perspectives on the era he lived in. Poetry is a tool used by poets. In a time when pretense and hypocrisy have pervaded all aspects of a society, Hafez uses poetry to level a social critique against such a condition. However, the pervasiveness of pretense and hypocrisy makes everyone a hypocrite. While he is always at the forefront of criticizing pretense and hypocrisy, he sometimes yields to these vices himself. In one of his poems, he says, “Be honest and see the sun comes out of thy breath / At the outset, the liar was disgraced.” Elsewhere, he says, “Not from exceeding religiousness, is my inducing of the robe / Over the head of a hundred secret sins, a veil the robe I place.” He also openly says, “Hafez! hypocrisy and dissimulation give not purity of heart: / Choice of the path of profligacy and of love, I will make.” In such an oppressive society, not only does he practice hypocrisy himself, but also invites others to do so: “Conceal the cup in the sleeve of the tattered garment; / For, like the wine-flagon’s eye, time is blood-shedding.” Some of these differences are because of the poet’s own personal experiences while some other are due to the social context of the 14th century and especially the oppressive rulers of the time.
In the course of history, people have always used ambiguity as a tool for social protest. Equivocation and amphibology have emancipatory values in socially repressive regimes. However, ambiguity could gradually turn into one’s worldview and hence run through one’s mind and language. In Hafez’s poetry, there are examples of statements with two opposing meanings which can be read as signs of resistance against the tyranny of the era he live in. However, as the examples discussed in this essay show, the use of statements with two opposing meanings are not always meant for social criticism; rather, this device has become an aesthetic technique in Hafez’s mind and language in creating poetry because not only does he use the device in representing hypocrisy and religious pretense, but he also uses it in describing his beloved, where one expects genuine sincerity and trust.