The Thousand And One Nights Analysis

Good Essays
Throughout the stories of “The Thousand and One Nights,” the focus is on the oppressor and the oppressed. Different scenarios play out in each of Shahrazad’s stories, but the most common one is through women’s battle for survival in a society dominated by men. The women of her tales, and Shahrazad herself, are beyond cunning. The only way to overcome the men who hold them down and abuse them is with their mind. They become wily and smart and fight to be their own person, and have the rights to their own beliefs.
Proof of the power that women have over men is shown in Shahrayar’s first wife. In her unfaithfulness, she completely transforms him from a kind and just king, to a bloodthirsty madman. In the prologue of “The Thousand and One Nights”,
…show more content…
They were reflections of her character, and what ultimately led the king to realize that she wasn’t the same unfaithful shrew that his first wife turned out to be. Shahrazad uses her stories to educate the king, and try to convince him to reconsider his hatred for all women. She uses stories that mirror their exact situation, from prisoners begging for their lives, strong women becoming victims and using their mind and talents to overcome situations, and the treasure that a woman really is. In one of Shahrazad’s stories, The “Tale of Sympathy the Learned,” the similarities between Shahrazad and the character in the story, Sympathy, are what gets so much attention in the story. It is a story of a female slave who is more educated than any scholar, and so very beautiful. The reason her intellect is so impressive is because Muslim women are only supposed to be knowledgeable in the works of “The Qur’an.” The man in the story, Abu al-Husn, isn’t aware of the brilliant gift of her mind, he only sees her as the only remaining possession he has, and thinks that her beauty and servitude may be enough to return some money so that he can continue to

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Thousand and One Nights, generally known to the English, speaking world as the Arabian Nights, is a compendium of Arabic tales compiled between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries. The collection starts with the story of King Shahrayar. Betrayed by his adulterous wife, he swears never to trust a woman again, deciding instead to marry a different virgin every night and have her executed the next day. He carries out his plan for three years, until his Vizier can no longer find a virgin to…

    • 942 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Influence of Cultures on "The Thousand and One Nights" Stories like Sindbad, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp and other popular stories are very common today in the western culture. Animated movies were also made for the entertainment of kids on these popular stories. One might wonder that where these stories originated and how it came down and made place in the western culture. Although these stories are very popular in both the western culture and the eastern culture but the original literary work…

    • 1463 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    A Thousand and One Nights

    • 1815 Words
    • 8 Pages

    culture-specific descriptions, and giving more familiar or recognizable imageries, which is his way of domesticating his text for his readers. Despite these fairly operative features, the extent of Burton’s foreignization can be put under question. One way to perceive this is to scrutinize his portrayal of violence, which is essentially similar to that of Lyons. In the Mock Caliph when the false Caliph returns from having visited Lady Zubaidah, Lady Dunya is said to “[draw] up both her feet and [give…

    • 1815 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Underlying Power One thousand and one nights, one thousand and one moral stories. The story of The Thousand and One Nights is a unique tale that teaches simple morals throughout the many stories within the main story. This tale is about a clever women that saves herself, as well as the women in her kingdom, from being put to death by the king. She does this by marring the king and telling him bedtime stories every night that lead into the next day. She would purposely not finish the story,…

    • 931 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    One Thousand And One Nights Author: The Karnstein PM One extremist's act of violence ended the lives of many. But even in the event of her death, one little girl's wish for adventure and companionship may still be granted. Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy/Friendship - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,893 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-17-12 - Published: 05-30-11 - id: 7034814 A a Abc Abc Abc One Thousand and One Nights Author's Note: I will confess that "sucked-into-video-game"…

    • 974 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    main role being raising families to leading armies into war, women have made untold contributions to history. Throughout history women haven’t always been seen equal to a man, and in some places, weren’t viewed any better than slaves. The Thousand and One Nights, narrated by a woman, Shahrazad, gives us unique viewpoint on the roles of women in their society. They described women as disobedient wives, concubines and slaves only meant to please men, and as prisoners they kept isolated from the outside…

    • 511 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    A Thousand and One Nights is an anonymous work, which represents a strong and clever female character that is both imaginative and creative. It is known as Shahrazad’s life-saving narration. An example of that is when on the night of twenty- seventh Dinarzad tells Shahrazad, “What an entertaining story!” and Shahrazad replies, “What is this compared with what I shall tell you tomorrow night if the king spare me and lets me live! (605).” She tells the king stories to stall being executed and the continuing…

    • 181 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    There is a reason why elders want to talk about their past. When older people tell their stories to the youth, they usually want them to learn something. Whether it is something that has happened to them, or someone they knew. “Tales from the Thousand and One Nights” provides us with many, sometimes fictional, Arabic stories, out of which we could learn something just as the stories of the elders. Listening to people’s stories, and their life lessons, and using it as our guide in the future, is like being…

    • 820 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Syree Davis Eng.203 Nov. 1 2012 Ms.tody The Red Lotus of Chastity and The Thousand and One Nights The females in The Red Lotus of Chastity and The Thousand and One Nights struggled against ideas of chastity that were created by a male dominated society. They had to over come the cultural ideals of what women should be and do. Devasmita and Shahrazad both decided to take matters into their own hands and not fall to male authority or their tricks. The themes of these novels are the feminine…

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Antigone and The Thousand and One Nights; From Justice to Infinity Some of the best and mysterious literature is handed from generation to generation orally first and finally written down and preserved. Such is the case with two classics; Antigone and Alf Laylah Wa-Laylah or The Thousand and One Nights. Both of these stories center on the female character and the conflict that exists in the story. This paper will analyze the heroines in these texts; comparing and contrasting each woman’s role in…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays