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Tales from Thousand and One Nights - Essay Example

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The women are sometimes portrayed as cruel, inhumane and adulterous, while on other occasions, as wise, benevolent and sacrificing. The…
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Tales from Thousand and One Nights

Download file to see previous pages... e King Shahryar an important lesson meant to change his life – that all women are not the same, and the actions of one evil woman cannot be used to judge the virtue and morality of all women. The “Prologue” to the tales begins with King Shahryar firmly believing that all women are inherently deceptive, evil and immoral. The King’s solution to the misery his once beloved wife had caused him is to marry virgin girls and killing them after the first night. Scheherzade, the heroine of the Arabian Nights, vows to change his mind, and save her life as well as the life other girls of her land. Thus, this “Prologue” helps to establish the pivotal position of women in the entire series of events. A woman changed the King Shahryar’s life forever, and a woman will set it back to normal. The representation of women in the stories of Scheherzade is well planned and meant to achieve a certain purpose. The portrayal of women in Tales from the Thousand and One Nights is not restricted to one definite category – they are depicted in characters that range from wise to foolish, from greedy to sacrificing and from highly virtuous to deeply immoral. This arrayed depiction serves to highlight the fact that all women are not alike, and it is fallacious for anyone to form rigid judgments about the character of all women.
The order of the stories is significant in the representation of women. In the first few stories, women are depicted as evil and cunning. For instance, in “The Fisherman and the Jinee”, the destruction of the King of Black Isles is brought about by his wife. She is portrayed as an enchantress who not only has an adulterous affair with an Indian, but also uses her magic powers to perish her husband’s city, converting him into half stone. This character is also shown as the unnatural woman – a magician who defames the true essence of womanhood. A woman that does not love her husband, and fails to perform her duties as wife, thus, is represented as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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