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Conrado vol.16 no.73 Cienfuegos Apr. 2020  Epub Apr 02, 2020


Artículo Original

Educating the morphology of Ghayeny Myth by Shams Ghmar based on Propp theory

Educando la morfología del mito de Ghayeny por Shams Ghmar basado en la teoría de Propp

Zohreh Houshiyar Moghaddam1  *

Muhammad Fazeli1

Reza Ashrafzadeh1

1 Islamic Azad University. Mashhad Branch. Mashhad. Iran


Educating Morphology and its concepts, since directly has relation with the tradition of a society of a great importance. This study attempts to educate its concept with the taking shams - e - qamar” story is one of the romantic love stories which has similarities and differences with fairy tales as the case study. Moreover, propp's morphology theory is one of the theories that can be used to classify them according to their form. Of the aim of this research also, is to teach the structure of these stories and to determine the similarities and differences between them. In this study, we have investigated the story of Shams Qamar in accordance with the prop pattern and we have found some of the functions of propp in this story. The story of Shams Qamar with the element of deception / complicity goes out of the original equilibrium and eventually returns with the release and return of the hero along with the original equilibrium.

Keywords: Morphology; bibi sarvar; shammed functions; e - qamar


Educar a la morfología y sus conceptos, ya que tiene relación directa con la tradición de una sociedad de gran importancia. Este estudio intenta educar su concepto con los falsos falsos. La historia de e - qamar es una de las historias de amor románticas que tiene similitudes y diferencias con los cuentos de hadas como estudio de caso. Además, la teoría de la morfología de propp es una de las teorías que pueden se utilizará para clasificarlos de acuerdo a su forma. El objetivo de esta investigación también es enseñar la estructura de estas historias y determinar las similitudes y diferencias entre ellas. En este estudio, hemos investigado la historia de Shams Qamar de acuerdo con con el patrón de apoyo y hemos encontrado algunas de las funciones de apoyo en esta historia. La historia de Shams Qamar con el elemento de engaño / complicidad sale del equilibrio original y finalmente regresa con la liberación y el retorno del héroe junto con el al equilibrio original.

Palabras clave: Morfología; bibi sarvar; funciones simuladas; e - qamar


Myths are several thousand years old and the human beings have taken advantage of their creative mind and power for making and fostering myths since they came into existence. At first, the myths have been in the form of painting and sculpturing and carving on the stones and they have gradually taken their current form little by little.

Undoubtedly, myth is the most meaningful and the most subtle artistic creation (Zarrinkoub, 1993). Nothing is reduced of the greatness of myth if it is considered as a sort of imagination and in line with hallucination because imagination causes the growth of the human beings and it helps them get separate from the real world and journey in the world that has never been existent.

Love, simplicity, cleanness, chivalrousness and others are the robust premises of the myths with time and place being less accentuated in them. Myths are the very general public’s beliefs indicating the public and local culture of every region with poetical myth, riddles, fables, narrations, stories and tales being but some subcategories thereof.

Hearing about love from every language is still not boring and repetitive. After the story of the kings and prince, it is the story of the daughter and wife that plays the most original role in the myths and love is the topic pole of myth, as well; bilateral love, females for males and vice versa. In the myths the beggars marry the prince and the children of beggars marry to the kings; the social classes and their gaps are easily bridged (Brughani, 2009).

Old women are most predominantly shown as black and witches and cunning usually in the myths but the women are most often loyal and do not betray. The girls are obedient and the smallest of the three girls is even more obedient and women even turn into snakes. The prince mostly wants the younger girl. Amongst the brothers, the younger one most often listens to the father’s advices and lives a felicitous life.

As for the importance of Propp’s pattern, it can be stated despite the heritage left from Aristotle till today that the investigation of the stories’ structures has been commenced nearly from Vladimir Propp’s researches on the story of the Russian fairies (Scholes, 2004).

In Propp (1989), published his first book called “morphology of the fairy tales”. The book’s translation was unprecedentedly welcomed in the various circles and by the folklorists; it was criticized and admired a lot; Propp’s methods were taken as patterns and they inspired many and morphology drew the attentions of a large number of the researchers as a new and useful science (Khadish, 2008).

Propp called function the unit constituents of the narration and it was translated in Persian as an equivalent to “Kārkard” or “Khishkāri”, “Konesh” [action] and particular “Naghsh” [role]. Function or activity is the action performed by every character in the story in respect to the importance of the role s/he plays therein (Propp, 1989). Functions and constructs are indeed partitioning of the sentences to phonemes and morpheme but in a less precise term (Taslimi, 2009).

In order to perform structural analysis, Propp pays attention to the details. His excessive attention to these elements have made some researchers consider it as being like laying bricks in the buildings (Harland, 2006).

His goal was becoming able to obtain the narrative structure of all the stories. Accordingly, it can be stated that the narratology’s goal includes discovery of general patterns incorporating all the possible methods of storytelling (Bertens, 2003). Although Propp’s pattern has been criticized, there are found few authors and theorists not influenced in literature grounds somehow by Propp’s methods and perspectives as well as his subsequent thoughts (Bayat, 2010).

Explication and statement of the problem

The primary question of the present article is that whether the folk tales in Ghayen Myth with their love themes can be subjected to structural analysis based on Propp’s theory or not? In other words, is there a total or, at least, equal congruence between the fairytales in Russian culture and romantic stories in Ghayen’s local culture?

Based thereon, amongst the Iranian stories, some oral stories in Ghayeni dialect that have been told and retold by the parents and other relatives have been transformed into fluid prose; amongst these stories, the story of Shams Ghamar was selected to be analyzed based on Propp’s pattern. Following the analysis of a hundred folktales in Russian culture, Propp figures out thirty one functions and denotes each of them by a symbol as summarized in Table 1.

Table 1 - Propp’s functions. 

Row Title Row Title Row Title
1 Absence b 12 First donor D 23 Arriving anonymously O
2 Forbidden d 13 Hero’s reaction E 24 Claim by the false hero L
3 Disobedience g 14 Obtaining a magical tool F 25 Hard task M
4 Acquiring information e 15 Transfer to another land G 26 Performing a hard task N
5 Informing z 16 Fight H 27 Identification Q
6 Trick h 17 Marking J 28 Disclosure EX
7 Unwanted cooperation q 18 Victory I 29 Transformation T
8 Shortage a or evil A 19 Repelling of evil K 30 Punishment U
9 Intermediation B 20 Return - 31 Wedding W
10 Initial confrontation C 21 Pursuit Pr
11 Departure ⌐ 22 Rescue SR

Of course, the functions are not limited to the abovementioned thirty one cases rather each of these thirty one functions has its own subsets so their number goes a lot beyond the foresaid number. The thorough list of these functions has been presented in the book “morphology of fairytales” by Vladimir Propp (the interested reader is requested to refer to the aforesaid book).

About the study type and method

The present study is a theoretical library research. The method used by the authors is statistical-analytical with the explanation being that, after searching for the local stories and folklores from the city of Ghayen with themes of love and in order to understand the meaning of love as discerned by the general public, the re-perception of the credibility of this same theme as well as its effect on the people’s social life, fourteen stories are collected and Shams Ghamar Story was chosen as the study sample volume subsequently; then, the authors compared and analyzed the findings based on Propp’s morphological theory.

Study Background

After Propp, many studies were carried out in the various countries. In Ira Khadish (2008), carried out studies regarding the morphology of Iran’s legends and achieved valuable results. Mahbubeh Khorasani authored the book “an introduction to the morphology of the story ‘One Thousand and One Nights”. Akhalghi (1998), researched about the mythical and heroic stories in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh based on Vladimir Propp’s method and found out 21 functions. Moreover, there are written articles about the morphology of some texts:

Ardavan (2012), investigated and analyzed the “morphology of the fables in Kashf Al-Mahjoub and Tazkerah Al-Awliyā’a”. Bertens (2003), analyzed the story of Samak-e-Ayyār from this perspective. Performing “morphology of the romantic story of ‘Bakāvoli Flower’”, believes that a small displacement of the functions and elimination of some others enables generalization of the Propp’s theory to the Iranian and Indian fairytales. Searching in the “story of the prophets in Surabadi and Tabari interpretations”, Bertens (2003), found 26 functions and achieved similar results.

“Criticizing and investigating the story of the white dome”, Brughani (2009), believes that the story structures of the “white dome” can be regulated based on morphology of fairytales. In the investigation of “the story of ogres in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh”, showed that Propp’s pattern can be consistently used for these stories. Zomorrodian (1989), investigated the story of “the red dome” in Nizami’s “Haft Peykar” and found 13 functions.

Fatemeh Koupa and Atefeh Sadat Musavi published the article on the analysis of stories from Kushnameh based on Propp’s theory. Sayed Ahmad Parsa and Laleh Salavati compiled an article about the morphology of Nasrollah Monshi’s Kelileh and Demneh. Reza Sattari and Ahmad Khalili offered an article on the analysis of the poetical book “Jahangir Nameh” based on Vladimir Propp’s morphological theory. Mortaza Mohseni and Mahdi Khabbaz wrote an article on the analysis of Nima’s poetry book “Srivili House” based on Propp’s morphology theory. Fatemeh Majidi wrote the morphology of the story “Sheikh San’an”; Mas’oud Rowhani authored the morphology of the story “Zāt Al-Sūr Castle” from Masnavi based on Vladimir Propp’s theory.

In all of the above articles and some of the other explored researches, although an absence of the functions’ sequence is evident, the authors have achieved results in agreement with Propp’s pattern. The authors of the present article investigated the romantic Ghayeni Myth under the title of “Shams Ghamar” based on Propp’s theory and reached results in accordance with Propp’s pattern.

Ghayenat, a city in Khorasan-e-Jonubi Province, is a region featuring hot and arid climate and such golden crops as saffron and barberry; the amicable and cordial people have been and are working hard on saffron and barberry farms since long ago to earn themselves pure sustenance during the days in fall and, sitting at the side of their grandfathers and grandmothers, they have also been patiently busy cleaning saffron and barberry at nights and listening to the local Ghayen’s stories from their grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers and mothers on the nights so as to relieve the fatigue of the hard work. They have not yet forgotten the sweetness of the love in Shams Ghamar and Bibi Sarvar, Najma and Gol Afrouz and Heydar Beyk and Senobar they heard during the cleaning of saffron and barberry and they are still spending their times with the memories of the love in those mythical lovers.

Summary and structural analysis of the story of Shams Ghamar based on ProPP’S theory

  1. Once upon a time, there was a firewood collector who had three daughters. α

  2. One day, the firewood collector had gone to the desert to collect wood and thorns. β1

  3. A snake stuck onto his axe and he was frightened. The snake started talking and told him you should give one of your daughters to me if you want me not to bite you. A16

  4. The old man accepted and retold the story to her daughters and the third daughter accepted it. W

  5. Bibi Sarvar’s sisters who had become officiously curious climbed up the ladder to the roof and looked through Xul (ventilator) to see how the snake living with their sister would treat her. ε1

  6. The sisters saw the snake and became amazed upon seeing that a handsome youth comes out of the snake’s skin. ζ1

  7. The day after, they told their sister that she had better burn the skin so that he might never return into it. η3

  8. Bibi Sarvar decided to do so but no matter how hard she tried the skin did not burn. Recommended by her sisters, she asked Shams Ghamar about how to burn the snake’s skin. θ 3

  9. Shams Ghmar said that she can burn the snake’s skin by the skin of garlic and onion. ζ3

  10. After having told the secret, Shams Ghamar said: “you will not see me again should you burn my skin”. ϒ1

  11. Bibi Sarvar collected some garlic and onion shells and placed the snake’s skin thereon and this caused it to be burnt. δ1

  12. The youth woke up and saw his skin is burnt. He said: “you will never see me again now that you have burnt my skin”. A7

  13. Shams Ghmar told Bibi Sarvar that she would have to wear out seven needled chador and seven iron shoes should she wish to see him again. F

  14. After Shams Ghmar had gone away, Bibi Sarvar made preparations to set off on a journey. C

  15. She went and went and went; she walked days and nights. ↑

  16. She reached a region and found out that her chadors and shoes are all torn apart. G

  17. On her way, she had passed sheep herds, cattle of cows and camels and also a garden. She had asked the shepherd, camel driver and the gardeners that “whose herds and garden are these?” They had answered: “they belong to Shams Ghmar who has given them to Bibi Sarvar as her marriage portion. §

  18. Bibi Sarvar found out that these are her own marriage portion and that she has come close to Shams Ghamar considering the signs. G3

  19. She kept on walking till she reached a spring. She sat on a tree near the spring and waited. O

  20. A bondswoman came and filled a pot with water. She asked her to whom was she taking the water in the pot? ε3

  21. The bondswoman said: “I am taking it to Shams Ghmar to wash his hands”. ζ3

  22. Throwing her ring into the water pot, she notified Shams Ghmar of her presence. J2

  23. Shams Ghmar came to Bibi Sarvar and said: “you can only stay in Barzangis’ land if you do things reversely”. G3

  24. Shams Ghmar took Bibi Sarvar as a maid to his mother. O

  25. Shams Ghmar’s mother (an ogre) assigns the maid to the two difficult tasks, i.e. eating a whole bowl of pottage and brushing half of the yard. D1

  26. Guided by Shams Ghamar, the maid performs the difficult tasks. E1

  27. Having identified the daughter, Shams Ghmar’s mother wants her to accomplish a third difficult task which was whitening the black Palas D1

  28. Wishing to assist her, Shams Ghamar spits on the black Palas to make it white. E1

  29. Bibi Sarvar performs all the tasks by the aid of Shams Ghamar. F

  30. Upon bearing witness to the whitened Palas, Sham’s mother tells the maid that “she has not done this; it has been done by Shams Ghamar” and Bibi Sarvar is identified.” Q

  31. Shams Ghamar’s mother tells her sister: “I send the daughter of Adam to your house for bringing a Zovale; you must eat her”. Then, she tells the daughter of Adam to go to her sister’s house and bring Zovale from her Modbax to her. A

  32. On her way to the house of Shams Ghamar’s aunt, Bibi Sarvar reaches a tilted wall, rancid water, Panduneh-eating dog and a bone-eating camel. D7

  33. Bibi Sarvar can reach the house of Shams Ghamar’s aunt and bringing back Zovale by admiring the tilted wall, rancid water and changing the place of the dog and the camel’s foods. E7

  34. Guided by Shams Ghamar and assisted by the tilted wall, rancid water, Bibi Sarvar can obtain Zovale. F

  35. Bibi Sarvar was chased by Shams Ghamar’s aunt. Pr

  36. Bibi Sarvar is saved from being eaten by Shams Ghamar’s aunt. Rs8

  37. After escaping Shams Ghamar’s aunt, Bibi Sarvar gets back to the house of Shams Ghamar’s mother. ↓

  38. Shams Ghamar’s mother wants to use Bibi Sarvar’s fingers as candles in the wedding ceremony of Shams Ghamar with his cousin. M

  39. Shams Ghamar wets Bibi Sarvar’s hands with his saliva so as to keep them from burning. F

  40. As recommended by Shams Ghamar, Bibi Sarvar recites poetry on the way with her lit fingers so as not to be eaten by Shams Ghamar’s mother and aunt. N

  41. Upon reaching the house, Shams Ghamar asks Bibi Sarvar to procure [Nasaq] a handful of needles, a handful of Jevalduz, a handful of salt and a pot of water. F

  42. Shams Ghamar and Bibi Sarvar escaped from his mother and aunt in the middle of the night. K

  43. It is with the shouting of the bride that Shams Ghamar’s mother and aunt became aware of their escape and began chasing them. Pr6

  44. As recommended by Shams Ghamar, Bibi Sarvar uses the procured tools (needle, Jevalduz, salt and water) on the path of the chasers, i.e. Shams Ghamar’s mother and aunt. Rs2

  45. Shams Ghamar’s mother and aunt are punished (transformation of the needle to a thorny forest-transformation of the Jevalduz into a spiky forest-transformation of the salt into salt marsh and transformation of water into a sea). U

  46. Shams Ghamar and Bibi Sarvar’s return to the homeland of Bibi Sarvar. ↓

  47. Shams Ghamar and Bibi Sarvar lived together again on the other side of the sea. W2 (Ardavan, 2012).

Table 2 - Functions in the story of Ghayeni Shams Ghamar. 

Number Sign Element Function
1 Α Initial status or scene
2 β1 Absence *
3 A16 Evildoing *
4 W Snake’s marriage to Bibi Sarvar *
5 Ɛ1 Acquiring information *
6 ζ1 Providing information *
7 η3 Deception *
8 θ3 Complicity *
9 ζ 3 Receiving news *
10 ϒ1 Prohibition and prevention of doing something *
11 δ1 Violation of prohibition *
12 A7 Causing to disappear *
13 F Procurement *
14 C Agreeing to confrontation or initial combat *
15 Departure *
16 G Spatial displacement *
17 § Conversation
18 G3 The hero(ine) is guided *
19 O Anonymousness *
20 ε3 Acquiring information by means of others *
21 ζ3 Acquiring news *
22 J2 Offering a ring *
23 G3 The hero or heroine is guided *
24 O Anonymousness *
25 M=D1 Difficult tasks 1&2 *
26 N=E1 Performing the difficult tasks 1&2 *
27 M=D1 Difficult task 3 *
28 N=E1 Accomplishing the difficult task 3 *
29 F Assistance *
30 Q Recognition of the hero or heroine *
31 A Evildoing *
32 D7 The hero or heroine is guided *
33 E7 Obtaining the object of search by the assistance of others *
34 F Procurement *
35 Pr Hero or heroine being chased *
36 Rs8 Being saved or freed of being eaten *
37 Hero or heroine’s return *
38 M Difficult task *
39 F Obtaining a magical factor *
40 N Performance of the difficult task *
41 F Assistance by the tilted wall and … *
42 K Effectiveness of the calamity *
43 Pr6 Taking measures for destroying the hero or heroine *
44 Rs2 The hero or heroine throws objects on the chasers’ path *
45 U Punishment of evildoers *
46 Hero or heroine’s return *
47 W2 Wedding *

In general, 45 functions are observed in this myth (Table 2) with their diagram being as demonstrated beneath:

Β1A16Wε1ζ1η3θ3ζ3ϒ1ծ1A7FC↑GG3OƐ3ζ3J2G3OD1E1D1E1FQAD7E7FPrRs8↓MFNFKPr6Rs2U↓ W2

As it is seen in the above diagram, 25 of the functions counted by Propp for the fairytales also exist in this myth. Evildoing, overcoming of the problem, difficult task, performance of the difficult task, guidance and receiving magical instruments account for the largest frequency of the functions.

Such other functions as acquiring news, notifying others, complicity, violation of prohibition, departure, initial confrontation, receiving magical tools, performance of difficult task, anonymous entry, pursuit, getting freed and punishment of the evildoers that are related to the operation area of the story’s hero and heroine account for 12 cases. The story’s protagonist is always faced with a difficult task for the accomplishment of which s/he needs receiving something magical and help from assistors.

In morphology of the fairytales, Propp points to the pairs of functions. In other words, he states that many of the functions are arranged in binary forms like prohibition/violation of prohibition, giving information/receiving information, deception/complicity and difficult task/performance of the difficult task.

In every pair, the existence of each function exemplifies the necessity of the existence of the corresponding function. In Shams Ghamar Myth, as well, binary functions are encountered. As it is seen in the above diagram, the functions are mostly in the form of receiving/giving information, difficult task/accomplishing the difficult task and deception/complicity in this myth.

Shams Ghamar Myth is expanded and developed by such functions as giving/receiving information and deception/complicity. In other words, the aforementioned functions form the preliminary part of the story. In the story’s continuation, as well, whenever the reader is faced with such a function as difficult task, its corresponding pair, i.e. accomplishment of the difficult task, shows off.

Characters in the Story of Shams Ghamar

Characters are amongst the variable elements of various stories and they appear in different forms. Since there is always a close relationship between the characters and the story’s plot, the investigation of the characters of a story is of a great importance. The stories’ characters are either the doers of the actions introduced in the story or exposed to certain events and incidents’ occurrence (Akhalghi, 1998).

Propp counts seven substantial characters for the fairytales: evildoer, forgiver, magical assistor, searched thing, dispatcher, hero or heroine and false hero or heroine. Amongst the characters intended by Propp, such characters as hero or heroine, evildoer, magical assistor and searched thing are found in Shams Ghamar Myth.

Bibi Sarvar is deceived by the evildoers and this same issue causes her loss of Shams Ghamar. The evildoing character in this myth is not limited to one person; in other words, we are faced with numerous evildoers.

As opined by Propp, evildoers attend the stories in various forms. In this myth, there are four deceivers of the mankind type and Barzangi sort with which the hero or heroine is faced one at a time.

Although Shams Ghamar initially threatens the firewood collector to the compulsory marriage to one of her daughters, he becomes a guider and assistor in the continuation of the story. Divulging the truths to the story’s heroine as well as bestowing his properties like ring, garden, sheep herds, cow and camel cattle to her, he plays the role of a generous donor. In the end, Shams Ghamar relieves her by returning her to her homeland. The secondary characters of the story are the firewood collecting man, camel driver, gardener and bondswoman as the binders and Bibi Sarvar’s sisters and Shams Ghamar’s mother and aunt as the evildoers.


Motivation is the various reasons and motives of the story characters for their performing of certain things. In Propp’s mind, motivation is enumerated amongst the unstable and unsteady elements of the story (Propp, 1989). Various motivations are seen in the characters of Shams Ghamar Story and their actions. The story protagonist’s motivation in accompanying the first evildoer (Bibi Sarvar’s sisters) for burning the snake’s skin is the greed for showing the beauty of her husband, Shams Ghamar, to the others. Such a motivation causes her to fall in the evildoer’s trap. The motivation for the heroine’s regret and her intention for finding Shams Ghamar cause her to suffer difficulties and disasters imposed on her by the other evildoers. The motivation of the donor in granting his properties to the heroine is unification with his beloved. The heroine accepts the marriage proposal and receives the finger from the snake and this same issue sets the ground for the donor (Shams Ghamar) to endow a lot of properties to her. Therefore, the motivations in this myth are of different types. The first motivation causes the story to move towards incidents and happenings that lead to the story’s catastrophe or complicated dilemma. The motivation for finding Shams Ghamar is amongst the most important motives of the story because it paves the way for healing the miseries of the heroine and her relief in the course of the story.

As expressed by Propp, it is necessary for the stories to have such elements as need or evildoing. The main part of this story begins with evildoing or need. The heroine moves for satisfying her needs or fighting against the evildoer and, on this path, she encounters signs (the marriage portions left by Shams Ghamar for her) and the assistor; in the end, after the repelling of the evildoing, she returns to her homeland.The story’s heroine sets off on a journey to gain needlessness. She faces evildoings on the path of meeting her needs and these evildoings are continued until the time she stops satisfying her need. Eventually, she unifies with Shams Ghamar upon getting rid of the evildoers.


Every movement begins with an incident or evildoing and leads to one of the functions marking the end of the stories like defeat, victory, problem-solving and so forth. The movements are directly associated with the stories’ balance. The stories’ balance is disordered with the occurrence of evildoing (A) or shortage and need (a) and it is via moving through intermediary functions that marriage (W) or other functions applied as a sign of the story’s termination are reached. The final functions are occasionally reward (F) or profit or generally healing and compensation of losses (K), escaping the chase (Rs) and others of the like. A story might have one or several movements. The trend of the moves can also be somehow different. The possible composition of the movements may be of the following forms: 1) an immediate movement after the initial movement; 2) new movement before the termination of the first move followed by the continuation of the first movement; 3) cessation of a story and creation of a complex diagram; 4) the story’s simultaneous commencement with an evildoing and the complete termination of the first evildoing before the second one; and 5) the possible simultaneous termination of the two movements (Zomorrodian, 2006).

The Myth of Shams Ghamar is consisted of three movements. The first move begins with the snake’s evildoing that takes place through the snake’s demand for marriage to the firewood collector’s daughter in exchange for not biting him and it ends with snake’s marriage to the third daughter of the firewood collector.

The second move begins with the burning of the snake’s skin and Bibi Sarvar’s departure for finding Shams Ghamar and it ends upon her arrival at another land and assistance by some helpers like shepherds, camel driver, gardener and the bondswoman who brings the news of the heroine’s arrival to Shams Ghamar.

The third movement begins with the evildoing for a second time by her being demanded by Shams Ghamar’s mother to bring Zovale from the house of her sister and it ends with Shams Ghamar’s guidance and such other assistors like tilted wall, rancid water, camel and dog.

A-------------W (1)

A------------G3 (2)

A-----------Rs8 (3)

Although the myth has three movements, the story is faced with a single story. If there is abruptly felt an evildoing, shortage and need before reaching the stage of the definitive satisfaction of the need and healing from the catastrophe that causes a new search, i.e. a new movement is created in the story, it is not at all marking the commencement of a new story. These are preludes for new expansion and evolution of the story with the previously initiated expansion and evolution being temporarily stopped (Propp, 1989).

Initial Setting

The initial setting of the story is the introducing of equilibrium in the story before the crisis occurs. The initial setting is not considered as a function rather it only commences the story’s process. The stories begin with various scenes; for example, they may start with the introducing of the heroes, place of the story or so forth.

Propp enumerates two fundamental forms for the initial setting: 1) the situation that encompasses a searcher along with his or her family and 2) the situation that embraces the victim of the evildoer along with his family (Zomorrodian, 2006).

The thing that draws the attention in the initial setting is the equilibrium that undergoes changes in the continuation of the story.

The Myth of Shams Ghamar that begins with the introducing of Bibi Sarvar’s family is consistent with the first type of initial setting. In the continuation of the story, Bibi Sarvar’s equilibrium of life is disordered with the entry of the evildoer to the story scene and the story is restored to a steady state in the end with her return to her homeland.


Propp’s morphological theory is amongst the ideations facilitating the achievement of the stories’ structural pattern. Propp’s theory can be used for various kinds of folklores, lyrical stories and so forth. The structure in Myth of Shams Ghamar conforms to this theory from many aspects. It is figured out in an investigation of the myth’s morphology that many of the functions and characters intended by Propp for the fairytales are in consistency with the functions and characters of this myth. In this story, 25 of Propp’s functions can be observed. Furthermore, five types of evildoing, generous, magical assistors, searched thing and heroes or heroines are seen in this myth and they can be matched with the seven characters posited by Propp in the fairytales’ morphology. In this story, different motivations instigating the characters to the performing of actions are seen. From the perspective of the story’s movement, as well, we are faced in the story of Shams Ghamar with three movements within a single and unit story. The initial setting in the story of Shams Ghamar matches with the first type of initial scene intended by Propp. It is by the morphology of the other folklores and lyrical stories that the structural patterns of the literary counterparts written based on them can be found out and it is also by figuring out the structural pattern of these stories as part of the Persian stories and myths that a road can be paved to the discernment of the Iranian stories and myths’ structural bonds with those of the other nations and, on the other hand, the generalizability of Propp’s pattern to these stories can be determined.

Bibliographic references

Akhalghi, A. (1998). Structural analysis of Manteq Al-Tair. Farda. [ Links ]

Ardavan, J. (2012). Ghayen’s folklores. Akbarzadeh Publication Center. [ Links ]

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Received: February 04, 2020; Accepted: March 15, 2020

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