11 July 2012
Essay #2: The Thousand and One Nights
After an issue of adultery arises in “The Thousand and One Nights”, the women in the story are murdered to prevent further adultery, not because they have committed adultery. The women are thought to be cunning and uncontrollable; therefore they must be killed, not as punishment but simply to protect the kings from further adultery.
1. “No one is safe in this world. Such doings are going on in my kingdom, and in my very palace. Perish the world and perish life!” (612).
In Quote #1 the King refers to the world which implies that he believes all women, not some, will commit adultery and therefore no one is safe in this world. The exclamation mark used here demonstrates his conviction that there is no stopping a woman from committing adultery and that everyone is doomed, as if the world is coming to an end. This deep conviction leads to his reasoning for murdering innocent women.
2. “I am still here, and this is what she has done when I was barely outside the city. How will it be and what will happen behind my back when I go to visit my brother in India? No. Women are not to be trusted.” He got exceedingly angry, adding, “By God, I am king and sovereign in Samarkand, yet my wife has betrayed me and has inflicted this on me.” As his anger boiled, he drew his sword and struck both his wife and the cook.” (609).
In the second quotation, the King does not decided to kill his wife until after he considers what she might do while he is gone visiting his brother and comes to the conclusion that no women are to be trusted. He also implies that this kind of calamity should not happen to a King, yet it does leading to the decision that death is the only way to stop it. Therefore he kills his wife to prevent further adultery and not as punishment for the adultery she has already committed.
3. “A hundred men have known me under the very horns of this