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-
Maysoon Taher Muhi
Department of English Language
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad
Received: 7/30/2021 Accepted: 10/7/2021 Published: 10/24/2021
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.
Keywords: Arabic literature, political predicament; power, Tawfiq al-Hakim, The Sultan’s Dilemma
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.
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