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The Thousand and One Nights - a Treasure House of Tales

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Words: 712 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

Words: 712|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: May 7, 2019

A Thousand and One Nights is better known to the Western world as Arabian Nights. The story is a collection of folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age. Over the centuries the stories where collected throughout Asia and North Africa. There are numerous versions of the tale from just a few hundred nights to what we know as the thousand and one nights more known for its famous tale. With this tale stories like Aladdin’s lamp and Ali Baba and the forty thieves which was added by Antonie Galland in the 18th century.

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Shahryar, the story teller of this tale is also the king of that realm. With his first wife being found out to have been unfaithful, he kills her and every new wife, as not to be hurt and have them unfaithful to him. King Shahrayar goes insane after catching his wife having sex with a slave. After catching his wife cheating he realizes that he will never be able to trust a woman again. King Shahrayar decided that he would take a new bride every night and come morning would have their heads cut off. The king in his madness, has brought death to most of the women in the village. Vizier’s daughter Shahrazad came up with an idea that would hopefully stop the killing of more of the village women and saving the innocent. Shahrazad had a plan to tell King Shahrayar a different story every night and end on a cliff hanger, keeping the king in suspense so as not kill her and then she would be able to continue the story anther day. King Shahrayar keeps Shahrazad alive and around for the stories and because of her compassionate personality. Shahrazad knows the king very well, this gives her the means to form a plan for her escape. “[She] had read the books of literature, philosophy and books of medicine. She knew poetry by heart…and was acquainted with the sayings and the maxims of sages and king” (652).

Shahrazad knows that she can keep the king at her mercy with the stories. She cleverly uses the stories by convincing the king without him knowing of her scheme, the high official Vizier, finally lets King Shahrayar know that he may take his daughter Shahrazad. She tells her sister “Listen… When I go to the king, I will send for you, and when you come and see me that the king has finished with me say, ‘Sister, if you are not sleepy, tell us a story” (566). This will make the audience aware that she has carefully planned everything out. With Shahrazad using the kings’ sexual desires, she can keep herself alive every night. Shahrayar as stated in text he called upon for Dinarzad and had her sleep under the newlyweds’ bed. The text also implies that she takes part in their sexual acts. Dinarzad and Shahrazad know by sacrificing themselves they are keeping the women of the kingdom safe. Shahrazad is portrayed as a compassionate woman. She does this by not only saving the women of the kingdom, but by putting her own life on the line. She explains her story that if it has a cliff hanger at the end, “It will cause the king to stop his practice, save [herself] and deliver the people (566). This quote refers to the saved women that were beheaded.

The stories told every night by Shahrazad are meant to show him to convince the king that one women should not be allowed to cause so much pain that he has placed on his kingdom. Because of Shahrazad and her creative thinking, she keeps the women of the village from falling to the fate as so many others had. The king is known for his intelligence and knowledge of literature and philosophy. With his knowledge, Shahrazad can come up with a plan and use it to convince King Shahrayar to stop killing innocent women. With Shahrazad’s sexual advancements, amazing stories and Dinarzad help, the plan becomes successful. With her compassion for others and her creativity made this possible.

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The Thousand and One Nights is an intriguing story that will keep the audience on their toes, and like King Shahrayar, keep coming back to find out the rest of the story.

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Cite this Essay

The Thousand And One Nights – A Treasure House Of Tales. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-thousand-and-one-nights-a-treasure-house-of-tales/
“The Thousand And One Nights – A Treasure House Of Tales.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-thousand-and-one-nights-a-treasure-house-of-tales/
The Thousand And One Nights – A Treasure House Of Tales. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-thousand-and-one-nights-a-treasure-house-of-tales/> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
The Thousand And One Nights – A Treasure House Of Tales [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 26 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-thousand-and-one-nights-a-treasure-house-of-tales/
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