Carnival Logics of Khayal Al-Zill in Rashad Rushdy's Behold! Behold! (1965)1: A Semiotic Study

Volume 1, Issue 1, Article 3 - 2018

Authors: Marwa Essam Eldin Fahmi

Copyright © 2018 . This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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The poignancy of Rashad Rushdy's play Behold! Behold! (1965) lies in the revival of Khayal AlZill (Shadow Theatre) so as to expose subtly post-independence Egypt. My purpose is to analyze the theatrical presentation of Behold! Behold! within the framework of Bakhtin's carnival logics by shedding light on the conventions of Khayal Al-Zill. The use of Khayal Al- Zill can be explained in the light of the dynamic tension of what Bakhtin calls ''centripetal'' and ''centrifugal'' forces, i.e., center and periphery. Every language, Bakhtin notes "participates in the unitary language (in its centripetal force and tendencies) and at the same time partakes of social and historical heteroglossia (the centrifugal stratifying forces)" (Bakhtin, 1981, p. 272). Khayal Al-Zill is '' a centrifugal force'' that seeks to undermine the ''unitary'' ambition of hegemonic authority. A ''centrifugal force'', therefore, is a tendency to express resistance against the ''centripetal'' tendency to decentre a ''monoglossic language'' and to reformulate histories. In this sense, the current study seeks to establish Khayal Al-Zill as a tool of resistance within the theatrical device of metadrama to dismantle oppression and injustice. Khayal Al-Zill is theatricalized in the manner of the Pirandellean play-within-a-play. It is dramatized in a deliberate reflexiveness to refer to itself. It functions as a powerful subtext to concretize metaphorically the political turmoil in post-independence Egypt. In other words, it registers the political abuse during the Mameluki era; an abuse which is echoed in the sixties under the leadership of the Nasserite regime.

How To Cite This Article

Marwa Essam Eldin Fahmi (2018) Carnival Logics of Khayal Al-Zill in Rashad Rushdy's Behold! Behold! (1965)1: A Semiotic Study
Bulletin of Advanced English Studies Vol 1 (1) 28-40