Birds and Bird Imagery in Attar’s “Mantiq-o-Tair” and Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Fowls”

Document Type : Research Paper



The present paper is a comparative study that relies on Tötösy de Zepetnek’s theory to compare the historical, cultural and literary contexts of the presence of birds and bird imagery in Attar’s “Mantiq- al- Tair” (The Conference of Birds) and Jeffry Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Fowls”. While Attar artfully employs birds and bird imagery to illustrate the inherent desire and thirst for a true disciple for full submission, devotion and obedience, Chaucer contemplates and reflects the nature and condition of his contemporary courtly love. Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Fowls” is based on courtly love and explores its cultural and historical aspects admiring and satirizing such kinds of love simultaneously. The findings of this paper demonstrate that despite the similar use of birds and bird imagery in their poems, both Attar and Chaucer have had different objectives that are the results of their different contemporary historical, political and cultural contexts.