Sohráb and Rostám, from the Shâhnâme

In summary, this details a son’s search for his father. Sohrab is the son of Semengan princess Tahmine and legendary hero Rostam. Although still in his youth, Sohrab vowed to find his father. When they did meet, it was in the battlefield.

They engage in a duel, which ended with Sohrab being defeated and slain by his own father.When Rostam met Sohrab on the battlefield, he denied that he was indeed Rostam, that he was a mere soldier who is far less than the man he is thought of being. After a few exchanged remarks about fighting skills, the fuel began. Father and son matched fighting skills. The only difference shows in their age and experience in warfare. Because Sohrab believed that two victories are needed before decapitating an adversary is rightful[1], Rostam was able to buy another day to strategize. The following day, having regained their strength, they again met on the battlefield. This time, Rostam was able to wrestle his foe to the ground.

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After pinning Sohrab to the ground, Rostam took his dagger and tore his foe’s breast, mortally wounding him. He then hears Sohrab’s tale and grieves, realizing that it was his son he fought against.Sohrab is well-grown for his age. At his young age, he has learned to master many weapons and has become a very formidable and fearsome adversary. Also, he is arrogant; bringing him to think that might is all that matters in war.

Because of his youthful arrogance, he tends to be instinctive by nature when it comes to dueling and in making decisions. While Rostam matches Sohrab’s skill in weaponry and battle and shares his son’s arrogance, he is a person who relies more on cunning. This gives him the opportunity to strategize further in order to ensure victory. This difference in character led to a result that mirrors plenty of wars in history.[1] “The Second Day”, p. 1515, line 65.

“The custom of our nation is not thus…Whoever in a wrestling match first throws his noble adversary to the ground, and pins him to the earth, may not cut off his head, not even if he seeks revenge. But if he fells him twice, he’s earned that right…”



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