News ID: 385045
Publish Date: 30 October 2016 - 13:07

Relationship between War Plays and the Culture of Self Sacrifice, Martyrdom and Resistance

As other types of play writing, play writing in the field of war or resistance can be studied from different points of views. In this respect, we can refer to different points of views such as sociology, psychology, home and family, characterization, dialogue writing, subject, plot, structure, presence of different character and types of people as well as point of view of self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance. While writing plays for war theatre or resistance theatre, concepts such as self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance are special concepts. These concepts have always been noticed by play writers. These concepts have some times appeared in special outstanding form that rarely observed in other types of play writing. And when speaking about a war under the name of “Sacred Defense”?, it is natural that such concepts benefit from more out standing aspects.

As other types of play writing, play writing in the field of war or resistance can be studied from different points of views. In this respect, we can refer to different points of views such as sociology, psychology, home and family, characterization, dialogue writing, subject, plot, structure, presence of different character and types of people as well as point of view of self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance. While writing plays for war theatre or resistance theatre, concepts such as self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance are special concepts. These concepts have always been noticed by play writers. These concepts have some times appeared in special outstanding form that rarely observed in other types of play writing. And when speaking about a war under the name of "Sacred Defense”?, it is natural that such concepts benefit from more out standing aspects.

As other types of play writing, play writing in the field of war or resistance can be studied from different points of views.
In this respect, we can refer to different points of views such as sociology, psychology, home and family, characterization, dialogue writing, subject, plot, structure, presence of different character and types of people as well as point of view of self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance.

While writing plays for war theatre or resistance theatre, concepts such as self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance are special concepts. These concepts have always been noticed by play writers. These concepts have some times appeared in special outstanding form that rarely observed in other types of play writing. And when speaking about a war under the name of "Sacred Defense”?, it is natural that such concepts benefit from more out standing aspects.

Here, I should how ever mention the point that special form and meaning of these concepts in the works of play writers - who have written plays or write plays in this field - depend on ideology and the type of their view about the things and concepts in this field. As a matter of fact, ideology of the play writer is influential on appearance and occurrence of these concepts.
In order to picture and re-create event or events of war, the play writer how ever needs to know national and religious beliefs of people of the war time in order that his/her work appears more believable and real as a small piece of life, days and moments of war time or post war time. Especially, we should pay attention to the point that such concepts can not be ignored simply either in the field of war play writing or in other fields of culture and arts.

In this article, I have focused on three selected contemporary plays which have pictured these concepts in different forms either during the period of time of war or during the post war time. In these articles, the play writer has written about self sacrificed characters and resistant characters who have felt war directly or indirectly. As a matter of fact, the reality of war has left great influence on lives of these characters which have been focused in the mentioned plays. This selection has been made based on modern view of play writers who have written about or re-created events of war time or post war time in the life of people who have not been in direct contact with war or the people who have been far from war for many years.

These plays have been written by the play writers who have experienced and tested different fields of play writing. Therefore, they have not written these plays merely based on a special feeling or even based on special orders. Meanwhile, they have pictured parts of lives of people which have been less noticed by other play writers in the contemporary play writing. Finally, these plays are good and valuable examples in this field. These plays are actually well written enough.
In order to study these three concepts in these three plays written by this play writer, first I should explain the meaning of these concepts as words. I also explain the definition of "Resistance Theatre”? in brief.
In the "Mo’een”? Persian to Persian Dictionary, the Word "Isar”? [Self Sacrifice”? has been defined as the following: 1 - "Devotion”? and "Giving things to others”? 2 - Preferring others to oneself – Preferring other person rather than oneself 3 - Giving enough energy to other person 4 - Preferring other people to oneself and preferring them on oneself in all situations
In the same Persian dictionary, the Word "Shahadat”? [Martyrdom] has defined as the followings: 1 - Bearing testimony 2 - Being killed in the way of God, becoming martyr. Martyrdom of Imam Hossein [Imam Hossein is the third imam of the Shiite people] 3 - A testimony in which there is no doubt or enmity and it is given based on sincerity and honesty
And finally, the Word "Moghavemat”? [Resistance] has been defined in the mentioned dictionary as the followings: 1 - To Stand against 2 - To have the same strength 3 - Resistance
In the following, I have written parts of "Position of Resistance”? quoted from "Nezam Nameh ye Moharebeh ye Piadeh Nezam”?:
"In order to fight a defensive battle, the commander first specifies and determines a position that is considered as the position of resistance and is basically covered by a position of guardianship. Then the commander fights on this position of resistance with the whole his power. And if the enemy penetrates this position of resistance, the commander forces them to leave that position by defensive attacks.
Three Parts of Innocent Life of A Noble and Beautiful Teenager:
The Play "Three Parts of Innocent Life of A Noble and Beautiful Teenager”? is the story of a war wounded person. His name is Ali Reza and lives with his family. Every day that he wakes up he waits for a girl named "Zeeba”? [Zeeba means beautiful]. Through the conversation between Ali Reza and his mother and brother, the audience finds out that Ali Reza had fallen in love with his cousin named "Zeeba”? when he was very young before going to battle fields. Every day, he feels Zeeba next to him and speaks with her.
Apparently and as the play writer has explained in the beginning of the first act, we watch a type of play that appears to be pretended [Not real] and at the end of the play and in the last dialogue said by "Mother”? it is shown that it has been pretending sentences and behavior by Ali Reza’s family. In the first lines of the play, it has been written as the following: "Carrying one tray of food, "Mother”? stands at the door and it seems that she is preparing herself for a play. Then the "Father”? enters the room and asks "Mother”? - "What is the matter?”? and the "Mother”? replies: "Again …. Zeeba … was here …. Just like every day … Zeeba was here.”?
This play has been written in three acts. Every act is called "Paas”? which means every shift that soldiers should stand guarding in military service or during war. The original name of the play is "Three Paas of Innocent Life of A Noble and Beautiful Teenager”?. And it refers to the meaning of "Paas”? in Persian. Every member of Ali Reza’s family (Mother and Mohsen) is taking care of him in turn. Naderi narrates the story of his play by describing a particular situation in the life of a combatant and war wounded person while living with his family during the years after war.
This play has six characters whose names are Ali Reza, Mother, Mohsen, Zeeba, Hamid and his Father. This play pictures three parts of life of Ali Reza [The war wounded person] during one Friday. Three characters of "Ali Reza”?, "Mother”? and "Mohsen”? are in the story for longer time in all three parts. Characters of "Zeeba”?, "Hamid”? and "Father”? are present only in the second and third acts. Every one of these characters tries to change Ali Reza into a person with normal and natural situation.
Till the end of the third act, Ali Reza - who speaks about his lost love - can not yet find the answer to his question of why Zeeba could never know and understand his love to her that was never said.
He finally decides to pretend to be dead by covering his body with a white bed linen on the same bed on which he had lain since the beginning of the play; because it is the game that he plays every day and every night. And as his mother says in the last moments of the play, the reply that his father tells him emphasizes on this daily action of Ali Reza and speaking with Zeeba again and also the presence of Zeeba in his room again and again.
By reading this piece of art work, we find out that the writer of the play has shown the concept of self sacrifice and resistance in an indirect form. Ali Reza - the pivotal character in this text - is now spending every day of his life after finishing of war in amnesia. And that is because shooting bullets during war has left unfavorable effect on his mind and spirit. Ali Reza - who had spent the best days of his life in the battle fields and had actually devoted him to the war based on his own choice - has faced with painful mental torment at the present time. The torment that he gained after being in the most difficult and worst days of war was nothing except every day amnesia and living with his beloved "Zeeba”? in his dreams and desires. Maybe such suffering is the same self sacrifice and sacrificing oneself for other people in sincere and noble way. But unfortunately, other people have never understood him; other people such as "Zeeba”?, his cousin; the cousin that he loved at the beginning of his youth. And he never talked about this love with her and with other people. And at the end of the play and in the last part of his dialogue, he mentions this fact. His mother says that the fault lies with his uncle:
Mother = … the whole was your fault. You never told any one. It was because of respect for your uncle or shame …
Ali Reza = I don’t know.
Mother = But you never told any one about this love. Poor Zeeba didn’t know at all that you loved her.
Ali Reza = Why didn’t she understand? … Why didn’t she understand?
Mother = Now, finish this story my son!
Ali Reza = Maybe it was my fault; not her fault.
It is Ali Reza’s choice that has given him a special identity in this play; the choice that is rooted in his youth ages; the time that he decided to put on the battle uniform. This way, he wanted to answer positively to his heartfelt religious beliefs and also announce resistance against the enemy. He was already a perfect revolutionary person before going to the battle fields. As a matter of fact, he both stands against the domestic enemy and the foreign enemy. He defends from his beliefs, home land and his life as well as the life of his compatriots.
The whole his defense and resistance has been based on the same choice, culture and the beliefs related to his religion, home land and his family. In the first act, Ali Reza speaks about this subject with his mother. He clearly mentions it and says:
Ali Reza = Then it was winter that the earth was white when we went to conquer Niavaroon.
Ali Reza further continued = It was raining. I remember … all people who had come there had covered their heads and faces to protect their faces from rain.
Mother = But children had turned their faces to the sky. Water went into the barrel of their rifle.
Ali Reza = It was not revolution. It was the time for war.
Mother = It was the time of war.
Ali Reza = With the Iraqis.
Mother = You went to Abadan [A city in south of Iran in which battle fields were settled]
Ali Reza = It was hot time of summer that Iraq attacked us.
Based on the same nationalist and religious beliefs, the father of Ali Reza was also satisfied with the action of his son. His father even encourages Ali Reza for making such decision and choice. As a matter of fact, based on the same heartfelt and religious beliefs, he is never afraid of resistance in such battle. In the part of the play that mother and Ali Reza speak about his departure for battle fields, mother quotes father and the above mentioned fact about father appears very clearly:
Mother = I went towards him. He had hidden him in back of tire of the car. He pretended to be busy; but he was watching me. I reached to him and told him: "Our Ali Reza is going.”? He said: "Ok”?. I said: "It will be hard for him there.”? He said: "Many other young people are in the same difficult situation.”? I said: "Our Ali Reza is still a child.”? He said: "Battle uniform was not loose for him. Didn’t you notice it?”? I said: "Did you see him?”? he said: "I put the uniform on him and sent him home in order that you see him in the battle uniform and see if you like it.”?
In other parts of this play, the writer has referred to these religious beliefs of Ali Reza. And the audience finds them out. In parts of the play, Ali Reza speaks with his mother about "Jalal”? one of his companions in war. Ali Reza quotes Jalal in parts of the conversation and tells him mother how Jalal carried an action for the sake of God’s satisfaction.
Ali Reza = Then, Jalal said: "Nine months; Ali Reza! You proved that you are a man during these nine months that you were in the battle fields. Dear Ali! Now go back to your home. You are comfortable there. …”? I said: "I have forgotten every thing. I have forgotten every thing because of God.”? He laughed and said: "We should show us to him. I don’t mean he does not see us; but we should show us to him; because God never bends towards us. We should become taller and put our heads on his ear.”? … I said: "I am here to prove. …”? he said: "The story of Zeeba is just vice versa. …”? I did not accept. I forgot Zeeba for the sake of God.
War how ever leaves a lot of effects on lives of people who are involved in it in direct or indirect way. The writer of the play narrates parts of these effects by his mind, language, thought as well as heartfelt and religious beliefs and personal beliefs. The story is mixed with writer’s imaginations such that the audience can never distinguish the border between reality and imagination and separate them.
In this play, characters of the play (Ali Reza, Mohsen, Zeeba, Mother, Father and Hamid) are from middle class of the society. They speak about their desires and requests based on their own special beliefs, goals and culture. They speak about their own concerns. They some times argue and even fight with each other. They explain their own special views and thoughts. In the three acts of the play and several times, the writer shows that Ali Reza and Mohsen, his brother stand against each other due to their ideals and thoughts. As an example, we can refer to the time that Ali Reza asks his mother a cigarette. And in this respect and as for this request of Ali Reza, Mohsen tells his mother (He means Ali Reza allusively) that the war time was better than the peace time.
Mohsen = I have "Bahman”? [A brand of cigarette in Iran].
Ali Reza = I said bring one cigarette for me. (Mohsen goes out of the stage)
Voice of Mohsen = One packet of the worst cigarette now costs 220 Tomans! It is getting more expensive hour by hour. … No one can stop them to increase the prices … How good was the war time!
Mother = I wish it never comes back and repeat!
Voice of Mohsen = How good was the war time if peace time is like this!
Ali Reza = You started it again? It is none of your business to speak about such things. Did you ever take a step for the revolution and war?
Voice of Mohsen = For whom?
Ali Reza = Revolution is what you see now.
Like other plays that the writer has written in the field of war plays, the writer has pictured self sacrifice and resistance in another style and from his own point of view. It has been noticed in definition of resistance theatre. Dr Ghotbeddin Sadeghi has defined this type of theatre as the following: "Resistance theatre protects this society instead of criticism. National unity is emphasized in all resistance theatres of the world; because inner contrasts are not focused; but it is the issue of an exterior war.”?
Despite all these, authors and play writers such as Ali Reza Naderi make efforts to picture another part of war effects that is often destructive and full of damage during the post war time. And in these effects, concepts such as self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance are not observed and do not occur in a clear and observable way; but the writer shows the mentioned concepts in physical and mental changes that had occurred in characters of plays and stories. These plays and stories happen during post war time. These stories and plays picture and review these physical and mental changes since the beginning of their stories in the post war time.
As a matter of fact, the audience does not watch such self sacrifices and resistance closely; but these self sacrifice or resistance is pictured after occurrence of the war. And the audience feels or witnesses the effects of these concepts on behavior, speech and actions of characters of the play. In order to picture character or characters of a story in a situation, the writer does not choose superficial situations in lives of few people involved in or influenced by war; but the writer chooses dramatic and influential situations of life that can be so exciting that shows concepts such as self sacrifice with an inner form. And the play written by Naderi is fed by such mentioned dramatic situations. He does not introduce his characters once and in one part of the play; but he introduces his characters in the way that they can be known by the audience through layers of dialogues or actions.
Dialogues introduce characters of the play in every act. And then, it makes the audience believe these characters without imagining them as artificial or cliché characters. That is because they are close to reality. Their character is rooted in a particular thinking logic. They belong to their own social culture and class. And it is the reason of why we believe the words said by "Ali Reza”?, "Mohsen”? or the "Mother”? in this play. We accept what they say in any part of the play. We move ahead in the story with these characters. And we like to watch their arguments and appearance of their feelings. We even like to respect to their beliefs. And we like that we some times hate these characters. It seems that since the play writer has considered true people as the model for his characters and then he has changed them based on his thought, we as audiences can accept them as champions who never carry actions without reasons or just based on their feelings. They do not say even one word without any reason. In this play, Ali Reza = like the people who have spent the best parts of their lives in battle fields who has faced with a kind of death on every day of his life. By choosing the action that he has carried, Ali Reza deals with amnesia or temporary death every day. The writer of the play has clearly referred to this fact several times in the second act. Ali Reza is speaking with his mother and Mohsen, his brother:
Mother: Your face has smooth skin. There is no sign, scar or even wound on your face.
Ali Reza: Your eyes do not say this. My life is just one day. I am born in the morning.
Mother: Like a flower
Ali Reza: Then I get matured at noon.
Mother: Like a man
Ali Reza: I die at night.
And after some time, Mohsen says: "It is not a repeated story for you that forget every thing at every sun set. The bullet that tore your brain took all your past. I wish it had not taken it.”?
Ali Reza answers: "It was my destiny that once I am born every day and tell every one and then I die again at night. It is my destiny to live this way by the time I am alive.”?
Here, I should mention the fact that writing such dialogues by the play writer - that express inner and heartfelt beliefs and fresh feelings of the characters - makes different aspects of dialogue writing clear for us in one way.
As an example, some of them benefit from psychological, action, emotional and poetic aspects. They are said fluently and simply. And as "Michael Proner”? has said, "Dramatic language has functions. This language does not merely interfere in transfer of information but it has special practical power.”?
Despite all these, I should say that Naderi - in his play as a world of drama - creates a world full of realities that are usually hidden from the eyes of the audiences. The world that he creates is not a utopia. But the people in his world act based on sincerity and self sacrifice. The sincerity and self sacrifice of these people is so much that they are not actually seen. These people are some times like the relative amnesia of Ali Reza.

Have You Ever Fallen in Love Rojano?
The Play "Have you Ever Fallen in Love Rojano?”? is one of the recent plays written by Chista Yasrebi. It was written in winter of 2004 and spring of 2004. There are three characters in this play. They are namely "Marjan”?, "Rojano”? and Saber”?. They are respectively 37, 17 and 40 years old. The story of this play is pictured in ten acts. This play is about the life of these three characters after a period of time of 17 years. A woman called "Marjan”? is still waiting for a man named "Saber”? after 17 years that passes since beginning of war. He was her fiancé in past. While watching a TV program about war, Marjan finds out that his fiancé is still alive and lives in one of the border villages in Kordestan Province. Following finding the exact address of Saver, Marjan goes to that village. There, she finds out that Saber is living with a 17 - year old girl who was originally from Kordestan. First, Marjan thinks that "Rojano”? is the wife of Saber. Saber tries to make her indirectly understand why he had come to Kordestan to continue life. Marjan who had started her job as a teacher speaks about the events that had occurred during the past years. She tells Saber that his mother thought that he had been lost or martyred in sacred defense. And finally, when Marjan decides to go back to Tehran, Saber starts speaking. He tells the truth and says that the sound of bombardment had caused him to lose his memory for some time 17 years ago. Then he meets the newly born "Rojano”? during a chemical bombardment. He gives this little baby his mask in order to protect her from being killed. This way, he saved Rojano’s life. Then, Marjan goes back to her own city; but Saber stays with Rojano in the same village. At the end of the play, Rojano goes to Marjan’s house while being dressed in black. She starts her new life next to Marjan. And the audience finds out that Saber had been martyred after tolerating so much suffering and self sacrifice after 17 years.
Chista Yasrebi is a play writer who has written plays in different fields for almost two decades. She has written a lot of plays with different subjects and even different styles by now.
Following years of experience in the field of play writing, she wrote the Play "The Guest of Sleep Land”? which was in the genre of family, war and love drama. She also wrote the Play "Death with Tuberose Flower”? which is a kind of war drama. And then, she wrote the Play "Have You Ever Been in Love”? in the field of resistance theatre. She has had a lot of experiences in the field of play writing during the one decade that passed since writing the previous mentioned play till writing this one. And it has been an advantage to this play as a war drama which is cold and loving and at the same time strong. By writing this play, she has been able to stand on one of the highest points of play writing in the field of resistance or sacred defense theatre.
Although the Play "Have You Ever Been in Love”? is considered as a bitter drama and simple family tragedy which happened in today’s city and village but we can well observe and feel the concepts of self sacrifice and resistance in the three characters of this play. And even the concept of martyrdom is observed in this play in a brief form far from unnecessary and extra sentences and events.
From one side, the play writer pictures these concepts in the frame work of a loving drama and from the other side, the same concepts are pictured in relationship between characters next to each other in the play written by Ali Reza Nader. Marjan devotes 17 years of the best days of her life to love and her beliefs. But at the same time, Saber sacrifices his love too. He sacrifices his life and stands against all the sufferings caused by war. And he finally becomes martyr.
Without picturing the scenes regarding the way he is martyred, the play writer first narrates and pictures the event that had occurred for Saber many years ago. Then the play writer pictures the destructive and killing effects of that event in few coughs. Then the play writer pictures his permanent absence by showing Rojano in black dress next to Marjan. This way, the audience finds out the concepts of martyrdom, self sacrifice, standing against difficulties, resistance and sacrificing life by putting these pictures and stories next to each other. In this war family drama which pictures the unfavorable effects of war in the life of its three characters years after finishing of war or sacred defense, Chista Yasrebi has actually recreated one of the most bitter dramas in the field of self sacrifice and resistance. Rojano does not remember the days of war because of her young age. But was has taken her family. As a matter of fact, war has ruined destroyed all emotional, mental and materialistic aspects of her life. War has even taken "Saber”? from him for ever; the person who grew her up and was like her mother or father. By picturing such resistance, Chista Yasrebi actually shows us three bitter lives of three characters that have been influenced by war. As a matter of fact, Chista Yasrebi narrates and pictures the self sacrifice that is mixed with choice made by a character like "Saber”? and also his sincere beliefs.
By making such a choice, a man like "Saber”? does not sacrifices his life merely for a baby named "Rojano”?; but in one way, he sacrifices and devotes all he has to a nation that have always lived with religious and heartfelt beliefs. By writing such play and choosing such subject, the play writer analyzes a situation in post war time that is included in realities of war and lives of people involved in war; the realities that existed and exist. And we can never ignore such realities simply. As a matter of fact, she - as a play writer - has chosen influential, bitter and even shaking realities out of realities of war. That is the reason of why the characters of her play are touchable and believable for the audiences. By choosing such subject, she achieves the success to create three characters with three different intonations special for them.
"Marjorie Boulton”? believes that "Several characters and different intonations and their musical coordination indicate skillfulness of the play writer in creating live and developing characters.”?
In continuation and as for characterization in drama, "Marjorie Boulton”? says: "Any character has his/ her own special intonation. And any intonation shows and includes personality of that particular character.”?
By creating such character and by choosing such subject, the play writer how ever brings up a reality for which he / she has no claim. The play writer merely intends to reach an appropriate communication with his / her audience through these characters and this subject. From the other side, the play writer changes a subject into a drama. And we can not find similar cases in play writing in the field of war. In the Play "Have You Ever Fallen in Love Rojano?”?, the reality is pictured and shown without being changed into motto or exaggerated. The play writer has not even wanted to issue a harsh statement against war and the problems after war.
Therefore, we can call this play a believable tragedy because the audience accepts and believes all words that are said by the characters of this play. Characters create sympathy by their acts. They communicate with the feelings of the audiences. They do not say words to pretend to be true; but they basically say words to picture the reality that existed and exists.
As "Michel Viyeni”? says: "In order that tragedy leaves considered influence on the audience that is feeling of sympathy and fear, it should present a believable story that can happen in the real life.”?
As a play writer, Chista Yasrebi has written this play based on a real idea or real memory; but she has mixed this idea with her mentality and has created a believable play out of that idea.
As a matter of fact, she has created a situation based on a real event that can make the self sacrifice and devotion of a war veteran ever lasting; the self sacrifice of a person that costs losing his health, life, marriage and family. By his self sacrifice, he gives life to a newly born baby survived in a village during the war time that had been under chemical bombardment.
To develop this idea, the play writer has prevented any thing that was related to imaginary and impossible elements. This way, she intended to remain loyal to the reality or the main truth which results in more sympathy of the audience with the characters of the story in her play.
As "Michel Wienni”? has said: "In tragedy, we should not only prevent including imaginary and impossible elements in the plot of the story but also we should prevent showing the situations which are too unique or extraordinary which may be theoretically possible in the real life.”?
Apart from characterization, choosing subject and choosing limited characters that include the culture of self sacrifice, resistance and martyrdom, it is the fluent dialogues of characters that helps to rhythm, structure and language of the play to be appropriately settled in the play. In one way, we can say that such dialogues are in coordination with the type of narrating the story and also the story itself. They are also close to the logic of tragedy. They help to characterization of characters too.
As an example, I can refer to a part of dialogue between "Saber”? and "Marjan”? in the following:
Saber suddenly took her luggage:
Saber = It is not too heavy!
Marjan = Yes; it is not very heavy; but it is a long time that I can not carry heavy things. .. I have become old. …
Saber = You have not changed at all. You are still like the time you braided your hair. And you were impatient and easily offended; but very …
Marjan = Very what?
Saber: Very … kind …
Marjan = Thank you for the complement. But you have not changed either. I waited for seventeen years that you don’t tell me that I am impatient and easily offended … but you are still saying the same word to me …
Saber = Where are you going without saying goodbye? …
Marjan = It was not possible to wake up all the people at home in the early morning …
In the same way, conversations are written simply and fluently; without extra words. Characters talk neither too much nor too little. They don’t speak too little to make the story and type of narrating it ambiguous; but they speak as much as needed and at the time it is needed. They speak in the way that is much closer to the reality. They say words and sentences that are much closer to the reality. This important point reveals the dominance of the play writer on this element of play writing and also her dominance on the subject and the structure of story of her play. And it contributes to the inner and exterior rhythm of the play to finish within a necessary time. It also helps to the conciseness and totality of the play. The play writer has prevented long acts and has benefited from the element of conciseness in developing acts. This way, she has prevented prolonging narration of the story. The more the play writer pays attention to the element of conciseness, the more she / he becomes far from prolonging the story and acts as well as long conversations. And it is natural. Through dialogues exchanged between Saber and Marjan, the play writer benefits from sentences and words that are close to the thoughts and ideas of an intellectual person. That is why these sentences some times change into aphorisms. As an example, I can refer to the following sentence said by Saber in this play:
"There is no misfortune or happiness. … It is only life that exists; stubborn, merciless and real. This is human that puts a name on every thing ….”?
Or this sentence said by Marjan:
"Good things are good; even if they are old. …”?
Beside the good dialogue writing, we should not ignore the point that the play writer has chosen the Kordish Language [The language that is spoken by Kordish people in north west part of Iran] for the character of "Rojano”?. It is an appropriate choice and accurate point that has been noticed by this play writer. When ever "Rojano”? speaks with Marjan and Saber, she speaks in Kordish Language. Choosing Kordish language for "Rojano”? helps to characterization of this character. It is also means by which she speaks less than other characters. Besides, it provides an opportunity for the audience to become familiar with characters of "Marjan”? and "Saber”? and later with "Rojano”?. The difference between Kordish Language and Persian Language not only helps to the inner logic of the story but also it influences on the structure of the language of the play. Therefore, it makes the language of the play different from any other plays which have been written about the events during the post war time.
As for other characteristics that attract attention in this play; I can refer to the presence of woman and man during the play. They act next to each other during the play. In this play, the play writer does not try to show the woman more self sacrificed or having more right than the man at all. She does not either show the man more self sacrificed or having more right compared to the woman; but they have tolerated the same difficulty and suffering during the seventeen years being far from each other and their long absence which has been based on their own choice. Therefore, there is no sign of feminism or giving more right to women. We can even feel that the writer has given some how more right to the man in some cases. It has been due to the more self sacrifice shown by "Saber”?, the male character of this play. The play writer has how ever made efforts to prevent such view to some extent; because she merely intended to be loyal to the logic of narrating reality. She has made effort to prevent any thing that makes his play close to exaggeration or cliché.
Basically, the play writer has made efforts to picture people without having a preference for a real particular gender. She neither raises the female character to heaven nor makes a holy person out the male character. If she had characterized the characters in this exaggerated mentioned way, it would result in an idealistic or cliché and superficial view about this play. By being far from idealism, the play writer creates believable woman and man characters in the post war era. And the audience watches only small parts of their sad and miserable life.
Basically, the play writer has made efforts to picture people without having a preference for a real particular gender. She neither raises the female character to heaven nor makes a holy person out the male character. If she had characterized the characters in this exaggerated mentioned way, it would result in an idealistic or cliché and superficial view about this play. By being far from idealism, the play writer creates believable woman and man characters in the post war era. And the audience watches only small parts of their sad and miserable life.
It may be the reason of why writers try to show woman and man similar without having preference for any of these genders in their works. Based on this, Chista Yasrebi has achieved the belief that woman and man have the equal rights. But since rights of women are less defended or their rights are ignored, Chista Yasrebi intended to look at this issue from equal point of view and not to prefer one gender to another gender. She has thought like "Slavoy Zizek”? who believed these two [Woman and man] have come from the same origin. "Slavoy Zizek”? believes that "The issue of women and men is the fact that they have come from the same planet through which they have developed. And it basically creates subjects.”?
In his book, "Slavoy Zizek”? says: "Woman is the thing that protects solidarity of man.”?
Once more, Chista Yasrebi has reminded the audience about damages, side effects as well as bitter and tragic results of war. In this play, Chista Yasrebi has pictured a story in the field of self sacrifice during post war time which has been less frequently told. The play writer has caused the audience to think more about these side effects and results.
As Ourly Hoolten has said, this play may be like any other tragic play that "Apparently reminds people that human lives in an insecure world; a world in which his decisions are reflected and expanded like the waves caused by throwing a stone into a river.”?
As for the last words I want to say about the Play "Have You Ever Fallen in Love Rojano?”?; I should say that this play is one of the simple plays that has no claim of being exceptional. Without complexities that some of the contemporary plays have this play wants to challenge the audience and show a different look at the problems after war. And at the same time, this play wants to re-create another type of narration of story about self sacrifice and resistance. From this point of view and compared to the plays which have been written about war or the problems and events after war, this play has a different view about the problems and events after war. It has been due to preventing from intentional complexities and her new and different view and also choosing a particular place and language that belongs to Kordestan Province which have been less paid attention by the play writers.
Besides, the play writer has chosen a story in which love is searched along with self sacrifices of war as well as the bitterness of war and after that. It is a new and different story which deservers to be noticed in play writing in the field of sacred defense theatre and can be even considered as a creditable example in this field. Although this subject does not suggest a particular technique for play writing or performance this subject has the capability and capacity to be performed any time and all the time. The suggestion that this play makes is the same different way of looking at the problems and side effects after war and how we can develop them in a play.

Three Eternal Days:
The Play "Three Eternal Days”? is written by Mohammad Ebrahimian in eight acts and seven main characters. These characters are namely "Kiani”?, "Khosro”?, "Belgheys”?, "Neshat”?, "Maryam”?, "Mother”?, "Akhtar”? and few other secondary characters such as "Banoo”?, people, seven women and men, singer, group of singers and manager of the hotel.
The story of this play is the story of two families. The story happens at the time when Tehran [The capital city of Iran] was under missile attacks. Kiani (The father of the family) along with his wife, Belgheys and his son, Khosro live in a big and luxurious house in Tehran.
The father of the family is a businessman. In such critical situation, he is concerned about his money and wealth. He makes efforts not to lose the life and wealth he has got after many years of collecting money. He makes his best efforts to keep all his wealth and life. His son is the class mate and close friend of a young man named "Neshat”? who is going to get married with their neighbor’s daughter named "Maryam”?.
At the night before their wedding night, Neshat and Maryam are preparing their thesis. Just before it gets morning and the Morning "Azan”? is broadcasted [Azan announces to Muslims that it is time for saying prayers], Neshat leaves his fiancé’s home. Meanwhile, the missile attack on Tehran begins. Neshat loses both his eyes in this missile attack. Maryam and Neshat who had promised to get married and go to Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine during their honey moon remain loyal to their promise even after this event. They had promised to go to Mashad City for three days and go to pilgrimage to Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine as their honey moon.
Like their relatives, the Kiani family decides to leave Tehran and go to Mashad City because the missile attacks on Tehran continued for some time; because as the enemy had announced, this city (Mashad) would be safe and protected from missile attacks, bombardments and war.
Like his friend, Neshat, Khosro is preparing his university thesis in the course of Philosophy. During this story, Khosro makes efforts to save his father from materialistic aspects of life and this materialistic and just - business life. At the same time, he respects his parents. Neither Khosro succeeds to persuade his father to become far from business nor does his father succeed to make him interested in materialistic issues. And finally Kiani dies when Khosro suddenly enters his room in "Ferdowsi”? Hotel of Mashad. And in the eighth act, the last part of Neshat’s thesis is read. And the story of the play finishes in the last day of stay of Neshat and Maryam in that hotel of Mashad City. They had stayed there for three days.
In the Play "three Eternal Days”?, Mohammad Ebrahimian has shown another cut of life of people during the war time in different cities. He had written the Play "Touba”? in the field of war play writing in past. And in this pla, he pictures a reality about the time when Tehran was under missile attacks. In this play, two cultures of people confront with each other; the people who live in and urban society.
Kiani - one of these families - belongs to the capitalist and rich sector of the society who is involved in business activities. The other family consists of Maryam and Neshat. This family belongs to the middle class and religious sector of the society.
The first and second acts are allocated to introduction of characters and the atmosphere of the story. By beginning of the third act of the play in which missile attacks on Tehran happens the audience find out about the situation in the society. In this act, the audience also finds out the difference between characters as well as the difference between the cultures of these two families. The picture that Ebrahimian recreates from Tehran during war is a picture of a society engaged in war. He shows us how some people benefited from the unstable political and social situation of that period of time. He also shows us the people who not only pay no attention to the materialistic issues but also they stress on benefiting from spiritual issues. These kinds of people intend to have a successful life by relying on spiritual matters. In the surface of this play; although we observe cultural and economic contradiction between people of the society but the influences and side effects of war have shadowed the deepest parts of their lives and consequently affects on their every day life and activities.
The arguments and differences that are seen between the father and son (Kiani and Khosro) in the first act is actually the thinking difference between the old generation and the new generation. And it has been less observed in the plays written about the war events.
The followings are parts of conversations exchanged in this play:
Kiani = Business is on my mind. Understand it before the reality of life opens your eyes in a rough way!
Khosro = I am looking for the truth of life.
Kiani = Say hi to it if you find it. You may find it on "Ghaf”? Mountain Peak [Ghaf Mountain Peak refers to a very far and even unreachable place in Persian Literature]. Of course, if you can reach there. It is far, very far, dear son! … Of course, if there is any "Ghaf”? Mountain Peak in reality.
Khosro = "Ghaf”? Mountain Peak is in the hearts of people dear father!
In other parts of the play, we read as the followings:
Kiani = I like you to think and care about life.
Khosro = Did you care about life? Do you ever have time to pause and enjoy your life?
Kiani = Life is not in books my son! Life is in life. ….
Khosro = Did you really live? Did you feel life?
Kiani = No, I just worked like a worker [Speaking sarcastically]
A character like "kiani”? is not a self sacrificed person. He not only makes efforts to show his resistance against defending from the home land or compatriots but also he tries to be far from all the issue of sacred defense and benefit from this situation to earn more money. In contrary to him, Khosro is so influenced by spiritual matters that he makes his best efforts to become far from materialistic parts of life by educating in the course of philosophy. He tries not to become far from the culture of war.
Kiani = Am I saying wrong thing? The Bazar [Big market of Tehran or any other big markets] is full of young people. They are 20 or 25 years old. They are earning a lot of money. You don’t know how much they are trying and how much they earn money.
Khosro = And what tricks they play! This way, dealers make lots of profit. Not every one should earn lots of money. Country how ever needs other people with other jobs too. And I am one of them.
Kiani = See! Is this my answer?! How rudely this boy is talking with me! … (With loud voice) Now it is the time for earning a lot of money. Country is not always in war that you can make a lot of money.
Khosro = Don’t be afraid dad! When there is no war, the world is resting to prepare it for the next war.
Kiani = The boy has read few books and he thinks he knows every thing. [Kiani speaks about his son]
In his play, the play writer makes efforts to picture effects of religion and religious issues on the society of today and the people in this society. In this play, the play writer also wants to show that even materialist people have recourse to Imam Reza [The eighth imam of the Shiite people whose holy shrine is located in Mashad City] at the time when war and its destructive influences have spread every where. These influences may even result in self sacrifice and losing two important body organs of a human unintentionally (The two eyes that missile attacks on Tehran takes from Neshat and makes him blind). We can also refer to the resistance that Khosro shows (When all members of his family and relatives leave Tehran in such situation). He is not afraid of being killed at all. He is not afraid of losing home appliances and other things of home and even the home itself. As a matter of fact, in his special culture and attitude he believes that paying no attention to the materialistic issues is the only way of his happiness in the relationship with other people. He even makes efforts to strengthen this culture among other people too.
In this play, simple and ordinary people who have recourse to Imam Reza have the spiritual culture of self sacrifice and martyrdom such that it some times wonders the audience. The audience is surprised with presence of such devoted people or such devoted women who are resistant in the war. They show devotion and self sacrifice in the way that they believe in. they are ready to sacrifice their lives and the lives of their family members in the way they believe in. In the fifth act of this play, we see seven women and seven men along with Maryam and Neshat in the holy shrine of Imam Reza. They are standing next to the steel window in the Holy Shrine and praying. One of these seven women (The sixth woman) is so self sacrificed and resistant that is completely satisfied with martyrdom of her three sons. She says that she has dedicated these three sons of her to Imam Reza in the way of God.
The followings are parts of her conversation in this act. She is talking with Imam Reza in this part:
May God accept from me! I have dedicated three martyrs. The last one was my "Yousef”?. … I didn’t know the first one. He was a true lover. … And the second one was Gholam Reza. He was martyred in Dalahoo. …. And the third one was Ahmad. His body was all covered with blister. … We were told that he had been infected with mustard gas. Imam Reza! Tell the Prophet [Hazrat Mohammad] to be satisfied with me! I deserved that God accepted my sacrifices. Thanks God … Thanks God …. Thanks God ….
In this play, the play writer has not sufficed merely to the contradiction of ideas and social classes of contemporary people during the war time; but he has challenged religious beliefs of people in such situation. As a matter of fact, he shows how religious beliefs can influence on behavior and speech of societies that live even in the most critical situations. He shows how these religious beliefs make people of such society brave, devoted and self sacrificed.
We should not forget the fact that in such play, people may stand against each other’s attitudes.
As "Marjory Bolton”? has said: "Attitude and intellectualism are two main principles of "Drama of Ideas”?. And among similar ideas, contradictory ideas oppose each other.”?
In another part of the Play "three Eternal Days”?, we witness spirit of resistance of a person like Khosro. In this part, the play writer has brought up subjects such as taking advantage of war situation. The play writer has pictured that Kiani is afraid of death. As a matter of fact, he has pictured the situation of Tehran City and the beliefs of the society in that particular period of time from a different point of view.
The situation has been pictured as the following in the part that Belgheys (The wife of Kiani and the mother of Khosro) speaks with Khosro on the phone:
Voice of Khosro = Is that dad speaking? Is it his voice?
Belgheys = Yes, son! He is asking how you are … He says when you will defend your university thesis and come to Mashad to be with us … he says that Tehran is dangerous … what will happen if the enemy uses chemical bombs and missiles? Why have you stayed there in Tehran? At least you could go to Lavassan [A country side near Tehran] … Arent you afraid of so many missiles?
Voice of Khosro = There are not many missiles. The enemy hits Tehran by missile two times a day. It means at least two million houses every day. It is ok if the destiny is that one of these missiles hit me or our home. I told dad that it is like "Russian Roulette”? Game. He did not listen to me. He likes his life very much. From what have you escaped mom?
Belgheys = What nonsense you say?! Your dad says we should always find a way to save our lives.
Voice of Khosro = So, say that Tehran should be emptied of people.
In the Play "Three Eternal Days”?, the play writer has made efforts to focus on characterization of characters as well as dialogue writing as he develops the main and secondary subjects. From this point of view, he develops the characters of his play based on the main subject and aim of the play. It may be the reason of why we (As the audience) feel more sympathy with the characters of the play as we move ahead in the play. And we are interested in following the characters and story till the end of it. We should not forget the fact that the play writer has benefited from the element of suspense in middle of acts or at the end of every act. The characters in the Play "three Eternal Days”? reveal their inner and exterior feelings and aspects when they interact with each other. And in these interactions, every one of these characters reveals signs of their interests and concerns about the surrounding issues.
In this respect, "Michel Proner”? has said: "Characters are introduced as a collection of signs. As different units they gather together. Even if the character is an important character in the text of the play he /she remains an existent on paper. And it naturally lacks any psychology or reality excluding his / her words and dialogues.
As an example, I can refer to the beginning of the third act. Just before the morning, the "Red Situation”? was announced and the alert was raised. In the dark, Belgheys, Kiani and Khosro are speaking with each other about the red situation and alert of possibility of bombardment or missile attack by the enemy. Out of their dialogues, the audience finds out about their interests in this world and their beliefs about the next world.
From the other side, the play writer has made effort to reveal different aspects of the characters of his play through language and the conversations made between the characters. This way, the play writer has made effort to make the characters communicate with each other. Besides, the reactions of characters to different surrounding issues and events are shown. These reactions are how ever to the people of the society or the unstable situation of the society. These reactions may also be to achievement of things that can play an important role in their lives.
As a matter of fact, society and language are like two elements which are related to each other. These reactions become stronger and bigger when ever the current situation changes or when attitudes of people change.
"Antony Giddens”? believes that "Society and language are not line objects and describing objects. Language is a medium for expression and fulfillment of commitments and promises and right interactions. Any type of verbal function and concepts that include these commitments and interactions cause the speaker to be in the social network in which language and behavior are tied to each other.
I should how ever remind the fact that the play writer has not neglected religious and eternal myths while paying attention to all means and elements of play writing and developing the plot of his play. And while picturing the critical and unstable situation of Tehran during missile attacks, the play writer has developed another story too. Then he even finishes his play with following that story.
Since the beginning of the first and second act - in which Kiani talks with Belgheys, his wife about his nightmare with Hazrat Solomon and then Maryam and Neshat speak about the subject of Neshat’s university thesis and discuss about promise of innocent souls with the prophets of the world - we find out another part of play writer’s attention to the religious myths. It is also true about the title of the play that is "three Eternal Days”?. And it also refers to our religious myths and beliefs.

Studying, analyzing and conducting research on plays that some how speak about the culture of self sacrifice, martyrdom and resistance require establishing a central nucleus and providing research opportunities for the researchers who are interested in this subject. By studying these three plays from this point of view and conducting research about them, I believe that in order to write plays including this culture, play writers need knowledge and study about how to recreate subjects related to social issues and issues such as war which have influenced on the society in different aspects. Besides, the play writer needs to be dominant on techniques, skills and elements of play writing. And these are main essentials of play writer’s job. From the other side, the play writer should not neglect the role and effect of religious beliefs and social class on the characters of his / her play in order to picture this culture as well as possible.
1 - Mo’een Persian dictionary - Volume 1 - Compiled by Dr Mohammad Mo’een - The Tenth Edition - 1375 [1996 - 1997] - Amir Kabir Publication
2 - Mo’een Persian dictionary - Volume 2 - Compiled by Dr Mohammad Mo’een - The Tenth Edition - 1375 [1996 - 1997] - Amir Kabir Publication
3 - Mo’een Persian dictionary - Volume 4 - Compiled by Dr Mohammad Mo’een - The Tenth Edition - 1375 [1996 - 1997] - Amir Kabir Publication
4 - The same reference
5 - Watching Navard - Collected by Taghi Akbar - zadeh - The Article of "Meaning of Resistance Theatre and Its Relationship with the Political Theatre”? - Written by Dr Ghotbeddin Sadeghi - Sacred Defense - The First Edition - Spring of 1381 [2002]
Publication of Islamic Revolution Theatre Association
6 - Michel Pruner
7 - Analyzing Dramatic Texts - Written by Michel Pruner - Translated by Shahnaz Shahin - The First Edition 1385 [2006 - 2007] - Ghatreh Publication
8 - Marjorie Boulton
9 - Structurology of Drama - written by Marjorie Boulton - Translated by Reza Shir Marz - The First Edition - 1383 [2004 - 2005] - Ghatreh Publication
10 - The same reference
11 - Michel Viyeni
12 - Theatre and Its Basic Issues - Written by Michel Viyeni - Translated by Soheila Fattah - The First Edition - 1377 [1998 - 1999] - Samt Publication
13 The same reference
14 Slavoy Zizek
15 - Slavoy Zizek - Written by Tony Mayors - Translated by Ehsan Norouzi - The First Edition - 1385 [2006 - 2007] - Markaz Publication
16 - The same reference
17 - Ourly Hoolten
18 - Introductory on Theatre - Written by Ourly Hoolten - Translated by Mahboubeh Mohajer - The Second Edition - 1376 [1997 - 1998] - Soroush Publication
19 - Structurology of Drama - Written by Marjorie Boulton - Translated by Reza Shir Marz - The First Edition - 1383 [2004 - 2005] - Ghatreh Publication
20 - Analyzing Dramatic Texts - Written by Michel Pruner - Translated by Shahnaz Shahin - The First Edition 1385 [2006 - 2007] - Ghatreh Publication
21 - Antony Giddens
22 - Abstract of Antony Giddens’ Works Edited by Phillip Castle - Translated by Hassan Chavochian - The First Edition 1383 [2004 - 2005] - Ghoghnous Publication
Reference: The Book "The Lost Note”? - Selection of Articles of the 4th Research Conference on Resistance Theatre - Compiled and Edited by Mohsen Babayee Rabee’ee - Association of Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense Theatre

Written by: Behzad Seddighi

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