In Act 3, Rostam’s son Sohrab, now grown to be a young man, inquires about his father. Tahmina has told neither Sohrab nor Rostam about the other. When she tells him that he is Rostam’s son, the boy becomes fired with zeal to find his father and join with him against the Shah.
Click here to hear an MP3 file with an excerpt from a dialog between Sohrab and Tahmina. (3.96mb, 4m 19s)
Sohrab: There is no knight of his equal, save me, and it is I who must join him, and overthrow the corrupt Shah Kavus! Together Rostam and I will throw that carrion down to the vultures and ascend the throne! His army will be no match for the might that we two can thrust into the horror of his eye!
Tahmina: His army covers half of Persia, and when they march the Earth is black with troops from end to end! Be not foolish! Stay here and learn! Perhaps the day will come when you can make your mark, perhaps, but this is not the time, not the time!
Sohrab: You protest in vain! Every gen’ral in the King’s army is my sworn friend, and I can send a horde against Kavus that will make his face turn the color of death! All I need to know is how I may find him, how I shall know him.
There is none in Turkistan or here who does not know his face
And tremble at his sword and mace.
In all the world you’ll never find a man as strong or braver!
Go! Go my dear, go to your place!
Find your place, alone beside your father!
Be the son beloved of Rostam; find your regal throne!
No son of man or woman will soon know an equal favor,
Nor fame a mightier pair record when you and he are known.
May the creator go with you, as do my love, my fears, my fondest wishes for your success and his.
The Turks join with Sohrab in his bid to overthrow the Shah, and Sohrab and Rostam meet on the battlefield. Not suspecting who the other is, they taunt each other. A furious battle ensues, with shattered swords and armor, until they are both exhausted. They pause to size up each other.
Click to hear an MP3 file with an excerpt of a dialog between Sohrab and Rostam. (7.11MB, 7m 46s)
Never have I beheld so powerful a foe!
He makes the dragons I have killed seem like fowl of the air!
He makes me long for quieter days at home.
Have I found my equal in one so fair?
Sohrab: There is no one save me who has his speed and strength in battle!
Rostam: There is no one save me who has his stamina and courage in combat! I would think it was myself!
Sohrab: No one save me has his strength in battle. Can I be mistaken?
Rostam: He could be my brother!
Sohrab: What manner of hero is this Persian? At the sight of his legs and arms I am filled with feelings of shame! Every detail is the same as I’ve heard about Rostam. In every measure of his body the size and shape are a perfect match for my own! I am convinced that he is indeed Rostam. Rostam! I know it! Noble knight! Let us cease to engage each other with fury and steel. We should spend our time together with feasting and making merry. Let us make an oath to be as brothers. We will be allied as brothers.
Rostam: Never has a foe tried to subdue me with gentle words such as these! Do you think I am a fool? Do you think a boy such as you could defeat an old man like me? So do not believe that I would be deceived by any plan so gently put. I’m ready for war, and let the creator decide the outcome!
Rostam grabs a sword and attacks Sohrab again.
Sohrab: Why are you attacking me?
Rostam: Why do I attack any Turk?
Sohrab: I know you!
Rostam:: So know my sword!
Sohrab: And you shall know mine! I have no fear of you, Persian!
Rostam:: And I will show you Persian steel!
Rostam thrusts his sword into Sohrab, who is mortally wounded.
Sohrab: It was my fault. You were not to blame. My mother was right. Find her! Tell her that you were not to blame. It was my fault.
Rostam: I will find her. What is her name?
Rostam: Tahmina! Tahmina! And where does she live?
Rostam: And your father?
Sohrab: My only wish, my wish, to find him, to serve at his side, to serve my father. Rostam! Rostam!
Rostam: And what did she give you that binds you to Rostam?
Sohrab: An armband. Remove my shirt.
Rostam removes Sohrab’s shirt and finds the armband.
Rostam: I am that Rostam! I am that Rostam! And you?
Sohrab: There is no daughter.
Rostam: I have a son!
Sohrab: Rostam, it is I, Sohrab, your son. Father, it is I (Sohrab dies)
Rostam: Sohrab, my son!