In 1-2 well-developed and well-detailed paragraphs, discuss one of the topics listed below. After you have posted your discussion, make sure you reply to or comment on at least TWO of your classmates’ posts. Each response should be detailed: a comment such as “good post” or “I don’t agree” is not developed; why is it good or why don’t you agree? Feel free to engage in dialogue with more students if you wish.
- Discuss the relationship between Rustem and Kai Kaous. How does Rustem’s belief in honor and his loyalty to the shah compare to other epic hero’s actions with regard to loyalty and obedience?
- Two major tenets of Zoroastrianism are duality (good versus evil) and the belief in free will/choice. Discuss how these concepts—good versus evil and the belief that humans have free will/choice—which can lead to the choices of good and/or evil are reflected in the text we read.
- Discuss the representation of death in the text. How do heroes and their family die? What seems to happen after death? Compare this representation to one other text we have read.
- We are told of Saiawush that “neither would his virtues avail him aught, for these above all would lead him into destruction.” Discuss some ways the often-praised virtues of Persian warrior culture (ironically?) lead to tragic consequences for its heroes.
- While they are almost indestructible in battle, the warrior-heroes of Iran can prove vulnerable to guile and deceit (see, for example, Sudaveh’s devious efforts to “darken the mind of the Shah” against Saiawush—and of him we are told he is “void of guile”). Give other examples of deceit in the epic, and discuss its dangerous power.