EASTERN AND WESTERN CULTURES’ INTERRELATIONS IN THE “KNIGHT IN THE PANTHER’S SKIN (SEVERAL ASPECTS)
“Knight in the Panther’s Skin” provides the best description of the characteristic nature of Georgian culture – acquiring and transformation of western and eastern cultures based on the national consciousness.
Based on the comparative studies intended for research of Rustaveli’s art with respect of oriental and occidental literature, identification of Christian teaching as the basis of his worldview, we can offer that interrelations between western and eastern cultures in the “Knight in the Panther’s Skin” as relationships between the form and content. Oriental environment, Moslem characters, eastern entourage and figures of speech, all these are the covers of the Christian contents, “spirit”. This is the “Persian”, which must be translated into Georgian. Therefore, we regard that the stance in Prologue “I have found this Persian Tale and have set it in Georgian verse” – showing, at one glance, the origin of the fable, actually emphasizes its allegoric nature, demonstrates pluralism of cultures in the poem (Persian/Georgia) and at the same time, their interrelations, as the form and content, allegoric reflection and true sense.
It could be said that the “translation” of this “Persian” narrative was made by Rustaveli into the language of Georgian culture, determinant of which, primarily, is Christian consciousness and worldview. Rustaveli’s time-space conceptions are biblical. Worldly life, in the “Knight in the Panther’s Skin” is perceived and assessed in comparison with the heavenly (traces of philosophical-theological thoughts of Ioane Petritsi).
Interestingly, in the “Knight in the Panther’s Skin”, the phenomenon of lovers are of eastern type and, at the same time, they remind the characters of the Western European tales of chivalry, though, Rustaveli’s romance cannot be reduced to mystical-Sufi conception or courtly love doctrine. It ends with the marriage. Here the marriage has the theological-allegoric sense and commences the eschatological time.
Thus, in the “Knight in the Panther’s Skin” the achievements of eastern and western cultures are provided with certain interrelations and, at the same time, as something whole. And this could be regarded as one of the factors of universal human significance of the poem.