Taziyeh : history, form and contemporary relevance
The intention of preparing this thesis is an examination of Taziyeh, the passion play in Iran which appeared initially as part of the observance of Ashura for the sake of the commemoration of Imam Hussein and his family. Taziyeh as a part of the religious observance of Shiite Muslims exists in iran and different Islamic countries. Taziyeh during the course of centuries found a form of religious drama which made it feasible to be performed on other occasions than the Muharram ceremonies. The realisation of the existence of dramatic features and the appearance of several different types of Taziyeh, tragic and comic, created a ground for its existence to arouse the interest of travellers to Iran during the period of the last two centuries and Iranian and non-Iranian dramatists and schotars of the present century. These accounts and views first allow us to find the evidence for the date of the development of Taziyeh and second to assess the contemporary scholarly comments on the dramatic values of the Taziyeh. In this way Taziyeh has been found comparable with Greek, Medieval and Modem Drama. The Historical, Mythical and legendary grounds of the Taziyeh have been taken into consideration in this study in order to gain access to the true roots of the Taziyeh in the old land of Iran while the lack of a place for Taziyeh in Persian literature will become clear. The final part has been devoted to establishing the actual position of Taziyeh after the Islamic revolution in Iran by looking at the function of Taziyeh in Iranian society, theology and religious observance to-day. I have put my stress on an argument for a purifying of the Taziyeh to make it function more effectively in Iranian society.