Three Shadow Plays by Muhammad Ibn Daniyal. Poetry & Literature. Author: Paul Kahle Year: ISBN: Language: English Paperback. While Ibn Daniyal is known to have entertained powerful men with his humor and antics, inchding the sultan al-Ashraf Khalil (r. ) and the emir Sayf. Badawi believed that Ibn Daniyal’s plays played an essential role in the formation of Arabic drama. He analysed three of them: Tayf alkhayal, ʻAjib wa-gharib.

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Of the opening of the discussion. Once the physician’s comic elegy is completed, however, the mood takes a sudden shift, lacking any comic suggestions whatsoever. Turkish Shadow Thearer Ankara: In the Arab world poetry has always been regarded as the highest literary form, and since Ibn Daniyal was one of the most honored poets of his time it is as a poet that he has been remembered in that world, and the three plays created late in his career given comparatively little attention.

Al-Wathiq sees the repentance-conclusiori as a trait borrowed from the muqamdt of al- Hariri; see A History of Arabic Drama, pp. In fact however there is a much closer and more likely method of contact, the diplomatic and trade agreements between Egypt and Constantinople to which I have already alluded. Both are ruling Marnliiks, both are obsessed with reform WisiiI with his pseudo-self-reform, B aybars with his pseudo-societal-reformand both are oppressive at times.

After all, satire can be used to ease the rebel- lious sentiment of the folk; laughter and carnival can be used to mollify the people and thus to maintain the “status According to Palmeri, satire in narrative can actually challenge “both an established authority and a less centralized, more dispersed configuration of authority.

A complication then arises: Next arrives a buxom young man, whose name is Easy Penetration. Khartoum University Press,pp.

Palrneri uses the phrase “narrative satire” as a more general term, one that replaces the phrase “menippean satire” and at times is interchangeable with it: None of the writers who have used this comparison have noted any other points in common, although there are in fact some striking similarities which go far beyond this shared love of mixing high poetic style with the most debased sexual and other bodily references.


This major political change did not of course result in a total cultural change, inb as is always the case in a blending of cultural practices and values. His diction also distances him from schol- arly or official representations of religion. Following the episodes in an Aristophanic structure comes the celebratory final song of the chorus, often involving a marriage celebration, a feast, dancing or drinking.

Since the author presents this tension without manifestly favoring either side, or-better put-since he frames his play in an exhaustively satirical language, one that is critical of everything, his real satirical objective remains hidden. A Critical ReinrroducEion, pp.

Ibn Dāniyāl – Brill Reference

Mustafa Badawi, Scholar and Critic. The Sultan in return sent the Emperor a number of gifts, including a giraffe, a group of Mongol prisoners, and some Mongol horses and their gear. A refugee from Mosul, Ibn Daniyal once entertained sultans and urchins alike in the streets and salons of medieval Cairo. Despite his repulsion, however, the slave gladly accepts the multiple glasses of wine al-Mutayyam offers and soon adds his own body to the pile. They are literary, social and historical documents, unique of their kind, presenting a veritable gallery of characters, high and low, from all sides of Egyptian life.

The mocking of unrestrained depravity implies that self-restraint is good.

First As Shadow, Then As Farce: An Evening with Medieval Puppeteer Ibn Daniyal – ArabLit

When, however, I repented of these [poor] character traits, said farewell to my comrade Wisll, and returned from Mosul to the confines of Egypt during the Zghiri dynasty.

In terms of genre, moreover, it is difficult to labe1 Ibn DaniyaI’s work a drama in its common sense. Depravity was suffering the utmost hardship, and a wine-seller was crucified with a wine-jug around his neck.

All translations of the play are tentative and my own but are largely indebted to James T. He translated danihal of the items in The Collected Poems of Larkin. His body is placed in a white coffin and carried off to a funeral march. The link between imposter dervishes and ironic uses of mystical vocabulary may explain much of what is seen in Tayf al-Khayal.


This point is made especially clear in the character of al-TSj Biibaj, the Christian secretary who has been out of work due to what are implied to be new reforms stipulat- ing such government posts to be occupied only by Muslims. On the other hand, this conversion mocks those associated with religious institutions, presented dabiyal as hypo- critical, concerned more with status than with right and wrong, regardless of how limited that status might be; his decision to succumb to the religion of the depraved shows us that seeming moralists are actually depraved at heart.

First As Shadow, Then As Farce: An Evening with Medieval Puppeteer Ibn Daniyal

In fact, Babiij’s reasons for not converting are quite convincing, even daniual he seems to dismiss them as a meaning- less list of obstacles “Were it not f o r. The language used entails great textual problems yet it rewards study, combining wit, dramatic entertainment and sophisticated poetry. Perhaps most interesting are the connections between fbn Diiniyfil, the optometrist known in Cairo for ridiculing his profession and mocked for blinding his patientsand. Truly divulgence includes the case of a servant who does something at night, then, although when he wakes up his Lord has covered that danijal, says, ‘Oh so-and-so, I have done such-and-such last night!

Next come is a series of episodes, short scenes involving only one or two minor characters each, ubn showing the effects of the outcome of the Agon. This describes his suffering and sleepless nights and detailing the beauties of his new love. To have the qadi give a solemn and lengthy sermon is in fact to show the absurdity of that shadow puppet tak- ing itself so seriously thereby showing us the absurdity of human beings taking themselves too seriously, a trait attributed often to the self-righteous.