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Hikayat Hang Tuah Analisis Struktur dan Fungsi

31 Mei 2011 15:13:34


Title :
Hikayat Hang Tuah Analisis Struktur dan Fungsi
Language :
Bahasa Indonesia
Prof. Dr. Sulastin Sutrisno
Editor :
Prof. Heddy Sri Ahimsa-Putra, M.A. M.Phill.Ph.D. and Mahyudin Al Mudra, S.H., M.M
Publisher :
Adicita Karya Nusa, Yogyakarta
First Edition, November 2006
xxxi + 438 pages
Dimension :
2,4 x 16,4 cm


When talking of literature, the first thing we would likely remember is the Platonic view of literature. Plato thinks that literature is mimetic, an imitation or illustration of reality. On the one hand, what literary works express is non-complete reality whilst on the other hand people want to reach the ideas behind such reality. An artist—because of the nature of his occupation—for the sake of success, resorts to bring out the bad side of man. The art is not created to put forward the rational side of his soul, the noblest nature of man. If such is the objective behind the creation of art, the art will build up desire that is supposed to be repressed. Based on the aforementioned objections, literature should not be viewed as an earnest means to reach truth (D. Daiches, 1956).

Unlike Plato, Aristotle has a more positive view on literature. Aristotle considers literature as one of the ways for man to find himself beside religion, science, and philosophy. Literature deserves appreciation. Thus there came up an understanding of literature as a unified whole, meaning that every part of literature functions as an organic element forming the work. In this context, literature needs to be scrutinized and studied.

Prof. Dr. Sulastin Sutrisno’s writing is one of the books providing analysis on the structure and function one of the greatest Malay literary works, Hikayat Hang Tuah (HHT). This kind of analysis aims at finding the structure of a literary work. In the field of anthropology and literature, such analysis employs the structural-functional basis of epistemology. As said by Prof. Dr. Heddy Shri Ahimsa-Putra in the book’s foreword, the work of Prof. Dr. Sulastin Sutrisno is a serious literary analysis, yet there is unfortunately no detailed structural and functional investigation on the work. Therefore, readers should first understand what a structural-functional analysis is before reading the book further.

Hikayat Hang Tuah in the Existing Analyses

Hikayat Hang Tuah (HTT) is known to be one of Malay traditional literary works. HHT has been long recognized by world literary critics. HHT, in general, tells the story of Hang Tuah, a central figure in the mind of Malay people. There is even a saying believed to originate from Hang Tuah, “Takkan Melayu Hilang di Dunia” (Never will Malay Civilization Vanish from the World). According to the story, Hang Tuah has journeyed from Indonesia to Madagascar, Africa. Based on his journey, Malay people believe that Malay ethnic group has dispersed from Indonesia to Madagascar.

As a Malay literary work, HHT has become subject of analysis of different disciplines, of either foreign or Malay literary experts. The analyses employ various points of view resulting in different views on the work as well.

Some say that the first to mention about HHT is a Dutch priest named Francois Valentijn in his seven-volume book Oud en Niuews Oost-Indien (1726). In volume V, in his illustration of Malacca, he speaks of a beautiful Malay literary work entitled Hikayat Hang Tuah. However, there the book is mistaken with Sulalatus Salatin (The Sultans of Malacca), which is the other name of Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals). Such assumption is held also by G. H. Werndly, a Swiss priest. In his opinion, Hang Tuah is the author of Malay Annals and Alexander the Great was the ancestor of Malay kings.

In 1854, E. Netscher denied the assumption that HHT is a historical text. To him, HTT is a very important romance depicting Malay way of life some centuries ago. Meanwhile the English researcher, John Eyden, describes HTT as a historical romance wherein fiction and historical data are mixed.

In the book History of Indian Archipelago (1820), John Crawfurd thinks of HTT as a nonsense and childish story. HHT is worth only for telling about the nature and way of life of Malays. Meanwhile a Malay linguist and literary expert from Russia named B. Parnickel, in An Epic Hero and an Epic Traitor in the Hikayat Hang Tuah, considers HTT a literary work arised from feudal society. He suggests that actually Hang Tuah was first of all people’s hero who fought for middle class people against a despotic king. The book then fell into the hands of feudal class and was modified to favor their group.

Erington, in his book A Study of Genre: Meaning and Form in The Malay Hikayat Hang Tuah (1975) and paper Some Comments on Style in the Meaning of the Past (1976), views HTT as a kind of historical text, referring to historical information it contains, especially about the sending of Malay delegation to Rome to purchase weaponry and the Portuguese conquest over Malacca.

Likewise, Malay researchers’ opinions on HTT also vary. Most of them think that the work is a fiction. This is suggested by Abdul Azis Mone (1972) in Hikayat Hang Tuah dalam Kesusasteraan Indonesia Lama. Similar view is possessed by Abdul Ghani Suratman (1963), as explained in Hikayat Hang Tuah dalam Bidan Sastera Melayu Lama, Anas Haji Ahmad (1962) in Kenapa HIkayat Hang Tuah Bukan Satu Penulisan Sejarah?, and M.D. Zahari bin Md. Zain in Persamaan dan Perbedaan antara Hikayat Hang Tuah dan Sejarah Melayu.

There are also those who conceive HHT as a historical work. This view is voiced by, for instance, Abdul Khadi Ahmad (1963) in Hang Tuah Sebenarnya Ada Hidup – Buku Sejarah Melayu menjadi Buktinya, Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid (1960) in Hang Tuah dalam Hikayat Hang Tuah dan Sejarah Melayu, and Abu Hasan Syam (1976) in Wanita in HHT: Imej Wanita dalam Hikayat Hang Tuah. Yet, there is also researcher categorizing HHT as “other literary work”. The view is asserted by Abu Hasan Sham (1976) in Perbandingan antara Hikayat Hang Tuah dan Hikayat Inderaputera dan Nilai-nilai Tradisional dalam HHT. Nilai-nilai Masyarakat Melayu Tradisional dilihat dari Hikayat Hang Tuah.

Kassim Ahmad, from Malaya University in Hikayat Hang Tuah textbook (1964), thinks that HHT is not a historical work. It is an original Malay literary work bearing the ideal and grandeur of Malay people. According to Kassim Ahmad, the author of HHT does not put into account the method of history writing. He intends to create a superman out of Hang Tuah.

HHT is indeed a great literary work important to analyze if we look at all the analyses have been performed so far. Various conclusions on HHT do in fact show that HHT really takes part in bringing up Malay culture to be one of world’s greatest.

Hikayat Hang Tuah As Viewed by Sulastin Sutrisno

In the end of the analysis, Sulastin Sutrisno states that from tradition and modernization point of view, HHT embodies the natures of modern romance. This is based on the fact that the long and prosaic text of HHT tells about the lives of its characters with all the happiness and sadness, about their mental condition, dreams, way of thinking, attitudes and so on, within a certain space and time. The characters are speaking people, not gods or djinn or fairy (page 343).

Sulastin Sutrisno’s statement above, that HHT in general incorporates the natures of romance, clings to the result of her research that is based on two arguments. Firstly, the main characters’ roles are not built upon each character’s self. Throughout the story, Hang Tuah more represents a Malay man in the ideal Malay world. Secondly, there is indeed a “love story” in HTT although it is different from usual romance. The typical elements of love story do not flourish in HHT. However, the only “love story” brought up is in fact the suspense in the scene of Tun Teja asserting about the loyalty of a Hang Tuah to his king.

HHT in the eyes of Sulastin Sutrisno is a complete work, having strong traditional elements but at the same time, holding global values as a romance. Therefore, HHT deserves a place in the study of literature as well as acceptance in international literary world. Moreover, observing carefully the above statement, Sulastin Sutrisno’s efforts in writing the book does merit an appreciation. Even, she deserves the honor to be considered a Malay prominent figure despite being ethnically of Javanese. Whatsoever a conclusion says, studies have proven that HHT as a Malay literary work can provide a path for us to understand the colorful Malay culture.

Yusuf Efendi

Translation by Reza Daffi (trans/13/04-10)

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