A Comparative Critique on "Death" in the Poems of Sepehri, Al-Saman and Keats Based on Freud's "Beyond the Principle of Pleasure"

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Persian Language and Literature, Department of Persian Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Persian Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages, Alame Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran


The view on "death" varies greatly depending on various cultural and intellectual factors. Although death is generally considered a "negative" and "unpleasant" issue, it sometimes finds a "desirable" meaning and creates a kind of "death thinking" and "death wish" in people. This death thinking has manifestations in the literature, and this research aims to study the ideas of poets who perceive the mortality issue with this view. In the present study, we have first tried to examine the death-wish poems of three poets; the Iranian: Sohrab Sepehri, the Arab: Ghada al-Saman), and the English (John Keats) separately, and then we have tried to analyze the causes of this manner of thinking based on a psychoanalytic theory by Freud called 'death drive'; According to this theory, the activity of the death drive associates with the "psychological development"; That is, the more people develop psychologically, the more active the death drive is in them. During this research, we find many of the poems' intellectual components compatible with the characteristics of this theory.


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