Foucauldian Reading of Gholam Hossein Saedi's An Eye for an Eye

Document Type : Research Papers


MA Candidate in English Literature Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran



The present paper seeks to investigate how power relations work in Saedi’s An Eye for an Eye and how discursive formation of justice brings the conflicts of the play to resolution. Foucault believes that power and knowledge create each other reciprocally. This creation happens within a domain of relationships in which discursive statements are voiced alongside and against each other. Truth, morality, and meaning are created through discourse. People live in discourse unconsciously. In Saedi’s play, all that happens revolves around discursive justice. The characters are to establish justice which is nothing more than a set of statements from the position of authority. This discourse of justice set the engine of the play in motion and brings about conflict and clash among the characters. Knowledge is created in strategic ways. This knowledge is circulated in the hands of different characters in the play. What is used and misused by the characters is knowledge. The give and take between the characters constitutes the core of the play and permits Ruler and Executioner to bring about marginalization and the discursive formation of justice. Those who are supposed to be accused of the crime, namely Old Woman, Vendor, Blacksmith, Hunter Man, and Flute Player, fell to the trap of domination. Except for Hunter Man, the other named characters are marginalized minorities. Firstly I close read the play and unearth the story line and mechanics of the play. Later on a review of Foucault’s theories which are relevant to the present argument is delivered. And lastly, theories of Michel Foucault are applied to the play.


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