THE SEVEN VOYAGES OF SINBAD
Studying the Literary themes and techniques
The One Thousand and One Nights and various tales within it make use of many innovative literary techniques which the storytellers of the tales rely on for increased drama, suspense, or other emotions. The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica. Since the twentieth century The Arabian Nights have also received serious critical attention and scholars have been almost unanimous in their praise of the way in which these tales transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. The following are the literary themes and techniques used in The Seven Voyages of Sinbad. FRAME STORY
The main frame story concerns a Persian king Shahryar and his new bride. He is shocked to discover his wife's infidelity and has her executed, but in his bitterness and grief labels all women to be unfaithful. The king, Shahryar, begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonor him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. Each evening she tells a story leaving it incomplete with a promise of finishing it the following night; this continues till 1001 nights. This frame story of Scheherazade immediately introduces important themes of power, gender, justice, forgiveness, and the ability of art to transform beliefs and vanquish death. The theme of the transforming power of art is also most obvious in the frame story as King Shahryar, entranced by his wife's tales, in the end understands forgiveness, justice, and humanity. CLIFF-HANGERS...
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