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AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number4. October  2021                                Pp.17-26

Bewilderment between Might and Right: Tawfiq al-Hakim’s The Sultan’s Dilemma  (al-Sulṭan al-Ha’ir)

Department of English Language
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq

 

Abstract:

The Egyptian writer Tawfiq al-Hakim (1898- 1987) is one of the leading figures in Arabic literature and drama. In his masterpiece, The Sultan’s Dilemma (1960), al-Hakim discusses an eternal question, which is mightier and has a lasting, influential role. Is it the power of authority or the power of the principles? Is it the sword or the law? The play is set in the medieval past, but its moral is addressed to the modern world. It explores the legitimacy of power through the character of a Mamluk Sultan raised into power. Suddenly, this Sultan faced a dilemma that he is neither a legible ruler nor released from the slavery of the earlier Sultan. Hence, the Sultan finds himself trapped between using forceful authority to establish his kinghood or applying the rightful law that might be difficult to be achieved, and it might take time. Sultan’s dilemma symbolizes the political predicament that the modern world is facing.

Cite as:

Muhi, M. T.  (2021). Bewilderment between Might and Right: Tawfiq al-Hakim’s The Sultan’s Dilemma  (al-Sulṭan al-Ha’ir) .
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (4) 17-26.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no4.2

References:

Al-Hakim, T.  (2008). The Sultan Dilemma. Davies, Denys Jonson Ed. The Essential Tawfiq al-Hakim: Plays, Fiction, Autobiography. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press. Subsequent references to this edition will appear between parentheses in my text. The numbers in the parentheses refer to page numbers.
Al-Khozai, M.A. (1984). The Development of Early Arabic Drama. London: Longman Group Limited.

Al-Shetawi, M.  (Winter, 1989). “The Treatment of Greek Drama by Tawfiq al-Hakim”.  World Literature Today Journal. 63, (1) 9-14
Badawi, M. M . (1987). Modern Arabic Drama in Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Badawi, M. M. Ed (1997). The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: Modern    Arabic Literature. Cambrige: Cambrige University Press.

Hutchins, W.M. (1981). “A One-Man Theatre Tradition.” In Plays. Prefaces and   Postscripts,    1. Tawfik al-Hakim. Three Continents Press.

Hutchins, W. M. (2003). Tawfiq al-Hakim: A Reader’s Guide. London: Lynne  Rienner Publishers.

Luwis, A. (1975). The Seven Masks of Nasiriyah: Discussing Tawfiq al-Hakim and  Muhammad Hassanein Haykal. Beirut:Dar al-Qadaya

Rahman, S. R., Rasheed, L. A., Hammoudi, Z.S.. (2020). “The Representation of the Judicial Conflict Between the Law and Power in Tawfiq Al-Hakim’s The Sultan Dilemma”. PJAEE, 17 (3)

Saqr, A. (2011). “Sultan Al-Ha’ir play “Textual Vision and Democracy Issues.” In Civilized Dialogue, (3273https://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?aid=245399

Shukri, G. (1982). The Revolution of the Writer’s Retreat: A Study in Tawfiq Al-Hakim Literature. Beirut: Dar Afaq.

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Asst. Prof. Maysoon Taher Muhi, Ph.D., currently works as a faculty member at the Department of English Language, College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad. Her major is English Literature. She received her Ph. D. degree from University of Science Malaysia (USM), in Penang, Malaysia. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1764-5775