Ta'zieh as a Subject of Interdisciplinary Research | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


This essay for the first time discusses the Eastern theatrical tradition which synthesizes multiple arts relative to theatre - such as music, poetry, dance, singing, costume design, etc. Ta'zieh, the medieval mystery play performed by Shi'a Muslims, is a prominent example of this approach. The sympathy is expressed by recitation, and performing the full ritual, which has later evolved into the theatrical performance. The Shi'a mourning ceremonies combine the features of both a religious rite and a theatrical performance culminating in the staged representation of the battle of Karbala in the form of a passion play (shabih). It merges the religious beliefs with the ancient folk heritage. All these elements have contributed to the formation and development of the mystery play that consists of three distinct parts: mourning recitations, processions and stage representation.


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