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The Arabian Knights

By | November 2005
Page 1 of 3
I will tell you about the tales I have just read in Arabian knights, but I will do it in far less nights than Shahrazad did. To start, Arabian Knights is a story told by one woman named Shahrazad. She tells these stories to King Shahrayar in a series of 271 knights. While these stories are entertaining and fictional, they also teach us about the Muslims. The events that took place weren't real, but in the text we get a sense of life and morals for these people back then. Not only that, but many lessons are taught as well.

Before even Shahrazad begins telling the stories, we read the prologue in which sets the stage. We learn of two brothers, King Shahrayar and Shahzaman, and their tale of how they come to hate women. As it turns out, after some moving about and talking to god, the two brothers end up in the same place. While they are there they go on a voyage. On this Voyage they saw a "huge black pillar cleaving the sea." (pg. 8) They get scared and climb a tree. It turns out the big mass is a demon, and he is keeping a woman captive.

When the demon falls asleep, they woman spies the bothers and forces them to make love to her. If they don't she will wake the demon and kill them. The two men reluctantly agree, and they are saved. From this they learn the cunningness of women, and assume all women are manipulative and deceptive. King Shahrayar starts a habit of marrying a woman for a night, and then killing them the next mourning. Obviously people are in outrage and try to make him stop, but there is nothing they can do. Well Shahrayar gets sick of all this and decides she can be the one to talk some sense into him, literally.

A lot is learned in the prologue, and some things are shocking. The first thing we understand is they view of women. In the Muslim world, they do not think to highly of women. Even the gods tell them "Women are not to be trusted." (Pg. 4) By far the most shocking thing we learn is the "heroine" of the story is not only is a woman,...

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