Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences (2012-06-01)

The Description of the Beloved through Religious Metaphors in the Divans of 15th Century

  • Nurgül Özcan

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. 159 – 189


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The main theme of classic Turkish poetry is love. In this type of poetry we can find many kinds of poems, from concrete to spiritual, from material to meaning, from menial to sublime. The effect of religion and mysticism on all types of love in classic literature is great. It is inevitable that the feeling of love has lots of signs and connotations in a style of literature where love is studied intensively. Therefore, the treatment of the concept of beauty bears great importance for classical Ottoman poets. Undoubtedly it is the beloved that comes to mind first when beauty is concerned. The beloved is the most significant factor around whom love appears in classic literature. The most colorful dreams, meaningful words and concepts turn around the beloved. Moreover, the effect of Persian Literature is great on the formation of the features of the beloved in classic Turkish poems. Also, we cannot ignore the role of Turkish thought, Islam and mysticism in these poems. Through the end of 14th and 15th centuries the power of Islamic belief is very remarkable in Turkish poems. In this period, when describing the beloved a rich variety of religious images and metaphors are used. In the 16th and 17th centuries when the Ottoman Literature reached its peak, religious metaphors were used together with the beloved. However, when comparing first period texts with these texts many differences emerge. It is striking that uses of religious metaphors have decreased more since the 17th century than in the former centuries. In our research we try to show how religious words and concepts are used together with the beloved, especially with metaphors. Also, we investigate the areas in which these concepts are most often used and motivations for these patterns