Frame Narrative

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The way in which a story is organized or complied adds to the ideas, themes, and character of the story. A frame narrative is a way in which a story is told were a main story leads reader into other stories within. Essentially a frame narrative is a story within another story. As in the story One Thousand and One Night the frame narrative is used to tell many different stories within the main story. Although the stories in One Thousand and One Nights are separate from the main story the stories are still relative to the main idea. In One Thousand and One Night the separate stories within are used to delay execution of one of the main characters. In the story of Canterbury tales the frame narrative is used to pass the time of a long journey that the characters in the story are on. In Canterbury tales smaller stories within are all separate but each has an underlying message contributing to the main story. Although, in Canterbury tales some of the stories have a serious meaning while others contribute to satire. The stories that are within contribute to the theme with their different messages. The frame narrative in both One Thousand and One Nights and Canterbury Tales adds to the central message of the text. A frame narrative or a story within a story aids characters in Canterbury Tales with a way in which to pass their time on a long journey, while in One Thousands and One Nights the frame narrative is used to delay execution and overall inform King Shahrayar on his wrong doings. In One Thousand and One Nights the fame narrative is used to persuade King Shahrayar and at the same time delay the execution of two sisters. Shahrazad in the story is with the king and in the morning she will be executed like the women before her. She and her sister come up with a cunning and intelligent plan to delay their execution. Shahrazad begins to tell a story to King Shahrayar and purposefully cut her self of mid-story. This is where the frame narrative plays in as she begins to tell the king a story within the story of One Thousand and One Nights. By cutting herself off in the middle of her story she grabs the king’s interest and he must allow her to live until the nest night so that she may finish her story. Shahrazad in this quote for the first night sets up to tell a story to King Shahrayar: “Sister, if you are not sleepy, tell us one of your lovely little tales to while away the night, before I bid you good-bye at daybreak, for I don’t know what will happen to you tomorrow.” Shahrazad turned to King Shahrayar and said, “May I have you permission to tell a story?” He replied, “Yes,” and Shahrazad was very happy and said, “Listen” (1579). This quote is setting up for a frame narrative and Shahrazad is about to tell a story which is within the story of One Thousand and One Nights. She intends to break the story off in the middle so she saves the end for the next night so that she might delay her execution. Shahrazad intends to tell a story to the king every night to delay her death; however the stories serve a purpose more than just delaying her execution. The stories also serve the purpose of having a underlying message for King Shahrayar. Shahrazad tells stories that are relative to the king and they try to get him to see he is wrong in executing all the women he is sleeping with. The King is extremely interested to the stories he is being told for example: “When it was night and Shahrazad was in bed with the king, Dinazad said to her sister Shahrazad, “Please, if you are not sleepy, tell us one of your lovely little tales to while away the night.” The King added, “Let it be the conclusion of the merchant’s story.” Shahrazad replied, “As you wish” (1582). The King shows great interest here in Shahrazad finishing the rest of one of her stories from the previous night. King Shahrayar is very entertained with the stories and wants Shahrazad to continue. With the king so entertained by her stories she continues on for many nights...
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