There are several similarities and differences between the two stories; ‘How Basat killed Goggle-eye,’ and the story of ‘Layla and Majnun.’ This essay will focus on the similarities and differences in these stories. Focus will be on the theme of religion which is evident in the two stories. The essay focuses on the Islamic background evident in both stories.
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One of the themes in the story of ‘how Basat killed Goggle-eye,’ is religion. This theme is portrayed right from the beginning of the story where a boy is rescued from the lions in the wild and is given the name Basat by Dede Korkut. He is then told that God was going to give him a long life. In his effort to kill Goggle-eye, the ogre, Basat invokes the name of Muhammad before driving a pointed rod into his eye and renders him blind.
This is proof that Basat was a Muslim . The theme is also evident when Basat escapes the hand of Goggle-eye while in the cave and clarifies that it was his God who had saved him. The same happens when Google eye attempted to get at Basat by tricking him to take a ring from his finger. He had claimed that it the ring had the capacity to protect him against any sword or arrow.
When Google-eye asks him how he had managed to escape from being killed, he clarifies that God had saved him. In his attempt to kill Basat Goggle-eye tries to trick him into getting in the vault so as to seal it and prevent the cooks from stealing the treasure that was inside. Goggle-eye shuts the vault’s door and vows to shake the vault and crush him, but Basat mentions that there is no other god but God and that Muhammad is his messenger.
This is a major precept of the Islamic faith which brings out the theme of religion in the story. Every time that he escapes from the ogre he mentions to Goggle-eye that his God had saved him. On the other hand, Goggle-eye in distress mentions that the Almighty ought to rob Basat of his sweet life for rendering him blind. He also prays that God never gives such pain in the eye to anyone.
Upon killing Goggle-eye, Dede Korkut blesses Basat by saying that God Almighty grants him honor and glory for saving the nobles. In the story of Layla and Majnun, the theme of religion is also evident. Sayyid, for instance, is portrayed as a rich chieftain who has a lot of wealth but does not have a son. He keeps praying to God that he gives him a son to be his heir.
God finally answers his prayer by giving him a handsome boy whom he names Qays. Qays is later referred to as Majnun, due to his obsession with Layla. At some point he becomes desperate and feels that he has lost everything as he can not see the love of his life. He then requests God to take his life as he no longer has passion for life. He feels that he has been disgraceful to his people.
The theme of religion is also portrayed when people are expected to go to Mecca to pray to God for blessings. Majnun’s father, after seeking advice, decides to go to Mecca to pray for his son’s cure from the strange obsession. Majnun on the contrary refuses to pray for the cure but instead prays that his love for Layla increases and that he never cures from love.
This clearly indicates that the people believe in God and are Muslims in particular. Soon after Layla dies, Majnun mourns over her and asks God to take him as this was going to ensure that he gets to be besides the girl that he treasured most. In both stories, God is perceived as the one who has solutions to the trouble of men and can bless them.
In the story of ‘How Basat killed Goggle-eye,’ God is perceived as the protector of those in need as Basat always mentions that was God who had saved him from the schemes of Goggle-eye. In the second story of Layla and Majnun, God is seen as the only hope for humanity. When Majnun’s obsession increases, the only hope for his salvation remains to be God and this prompts his father to seek for God’s intervention at Mecca.
In the first case, solutions to the existing problem are found as Basat manages to escape all the snares of Goggle-eye and kills him, hence saving his people. In the second case however, Majnun,s obsession is not cured and he dies without marrying the girl of his dream, while his parents die without having their son with them as he decides to reside in the wild with animals.
The theme of religion is prominent in these two stories and the religion represented is Islam. This can be deduced from the terms that are used in reference to God as well as the religious ceremonies that are performed by the inhabitants. One of the religious ceremonies involve going to Mecca to seek God’s blessings and pray. When Majnun’s problem prevails for long, his father opts to visit Mecca to seek intervention.
This is a religious ceremony carried out by Muslims . In the story of ‘How Basat killed Goggle-eye,’ Basat mentions to Goggle-eye that there is no other god but God and that his Messenger is Mohammed. This indicates that the story was written in an Islamic background as this is associated with this religion.
While she is about to die, Layla requests to be dressed in her bridal gown hoping that when she dies she will get an opportunity to be close to her beloved, Majnun, as he was going to come to her grave to mourn over her. When she dies Majnun surely visits her grave and mourns for a long time. It is in fact believed that while crying the flowers around the grave turned red. It does not take long before Majnun’s death.
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This whole episode points to the theme of religion. In the Islamic faith, it is believed that there is life after death. This is evident in Layla’s request to be dressed in her bridal gown so as to meet her beloved while she is dead. After mourning over her, Majnun also dies and it is believed that he has followed Layla to the other world .
While revealing his identity to Goggle-eye, Basat says that when he stumbles in the dark his watchword is God, which indicated that he believes in a supernatural being to guide him.
In Islamic culture, the aspect of arranged marriages is common as opposed to that which is based on mutual attraction or love. From the story it is evident that Layla and Majnun have deep affection for each other. Their dream to be together is however shattered when Layla’s parents refuse to allow their daughter to marry Majnun even though they are in love.
She is instead married off to another man whom she does not love . No wonder she vows never to share the same bed with him. She perceives herself as a prisoner when compared to Majnun who has all the freedom to go wherever he wanted. She feels more tormented than Majnun and longs to set her eyes on him or hear from him. When she dies she hopes to be joined by him later.
This is a clear indication that she never really loves her husband but was in love with Majnun, and that she had been forced into an arranged marriage against her will. In the Islamic religion, a woman can not be allowed to marry any man against the will of the parents . The two stories are however different in the sense that the story of ‘how Basat killed Goggle-eye’ focuses on Heroism while that of Layla and Majnun focuses on Romance.
In the first case Majnun is presented as a young man born in a well-off family who loses his senses due to the obsession he has towards Layla. He does everything possible to show how much he is in love with her, yet his behavior causes his kinsmen disgrace as he is perceived as a madman. This prompts Layla’s father to distance her daughter from Majnun’s so as to ensure that he does not get to her.
In the second case however, the story focuses on the heroic acts of Basat who uses his skills and faith in God to eliminate Goggle-eye, the ogre, who was exploiting his people by demanding for humans and livestock to satisfy his immense greed. Basat uses his wits in finding out the way by which this monster can be killed and when he manages to do that, the villagers rejoice and bless him for being brave and for saving his people .
Ganjavī, Niẓāmī. Layla and Majnun. New Delhi: Omega Publications, 1997. Print
Lewis, Geoffrey. The Book of Dede Korkut. New York: Pinguin, 1998. Print.