A Study of Jean Cohen’s Theory of Figures of Speech and its Adaptation in the Language of Classical Persian Poetry

Document Type : Research Paper


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


Jean Cohen has attempted a thorough study of the figures of speech founded on contradiction from a logical and semantic point of view in a long and difficult article titled “Theory of Figures”.  His views on figures of contradiction can be fruitfully applied to Persian poetry with its plentiful and rich contradictory expressions inherited from mystical literature and culture. In the current study, and in the first step, the main core of Cohen’s theory is explained and then the definitions of figures are compared precisely with their Persian counterparts and examples drawn from Persian poetry and especially those of Hafez. The findings of the research not only confirm the general appropriateness of Cohen’s theory to study the contradictional figures in Persian poetry but also it shows that the unknown dimensions of these figures require to be restudied in detail by developing a comprehensive and appropriate model.


Main Subjects

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