The Arabian Nights

Who compiled the stories? First written in the 14th century, during a cultural high point of Islamic culture. it is generally agreed that these collection of middle-eastern, far eastern and african stories were handed down originally by story-tellers. They were collected and written down in the 14th century and then translated into french in the 18th century.

What are the Arabian Nights? A Persian king called Shahryar has his new bride executed for infidelity. He is then angry at all women and goes on a murderous spree. He marries a virgin and has her killed the next morning before she can cheat on him. He marries virgin after virgin until there is none left in the kingdon, none but one. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride. On their honeymoon, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a story. She does not tell the whole story though and leaves the king in suspense.

He puts off her execution til he can hear the rest of it. Each evening she finishes one story and starts another one. The king is always left in suspense and can't bear to kill her until he has heard the end of the story. She keeps him enthralled for days which turn into weeks and then months and then years. Spinning stories like an artful spider, she keeps the king guessing. Stories such as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, as well as Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, stories, of mystery, philosophy and adventure,stories of love in all its forms, and tragic tales, as well as comic tales. stories within stories.

Finally after 1,001 nights the king removes the death sentence. She is spared, and they live together as man and wife.



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