THE REPRESENTATION OF THE JUDICIAL CONFLICT BETWEEN THE LAW AND POWER IN TAWFIQ AL-HAKIM'S THE SULTAN DILEMMA
Tawifq Al-Hakim is one of the most prominent Egyptian luminary and a visionary writer who has left his creative mark in modern Arab literature particularly in the field of theater as he plays the most prominent role as the sole founder of this field in which his influence is continued to this day. In his prolific literary works, he deals with many themes that reflect the political and social reality of Egypt and show a special interest in developing patriotism supporting the principles of justice, equality, freedom, and consolidating democracy. One of Al-Hakim's literary innovations (which strengthens his literary standing) is embodied in his inspiration for the themes of his many plays from the heritage of Egypt in its different eras. Thus, his play Al Sultan Al-Hair (The Sultan's Dilemma) is inspired by the popular history of the fifteenth century during the Mamluk Sultans era. The protagonist of the play, the Sultan, is put in a very critical situation that requires him to solve the biggest crises that encounter his reign by choosing one of the two suggestions to overcome it. The problem lies in the burden entailed by his choice and that he must bear on his own. He has to choose between applying the law which means being sold in a public auction (the Chief Cadi's suggestion) or relying on power and terrorizing the people (the Vizier's suggestion). The paper sheds light on the conflict between the law and power, the justifications provided by each party, the rationale for the Sultan's preference for one of them, and the consequences of his performance.
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