The Thousand and One Nights: Issues of Gender & Feminism

1014 Words5 Pages
------------------------------------------------- The Thousand and One Nights: Issues of Gender & Feminism The Thousand and One Nights is a collection of stories, tales, adventures and legends. It is also known as Arabian Nights and the authorship and time of stories is uncertain. The story begins when King Shahryar discovers his wife's unfaithfulness during his absence and kills her. After wife's betrayal, the King decides to marry a new young woman each night and murders a new wife before she has an opportunity to betray. Once, Shahrazad (King's vizier's elder daughter) makes a plan to save herself and other virgins and asks the father to give her in marriage to the king. The plan is that she tells a story every night, but she stops when the story reaches its interesting point and promises to finish it the next night. Shahrazad's stories are so interesting that the king wants to hear the end. During his concernment, the king puts off punishment from day to day and finally he abandons it (Norton, The Thousand and One Nights, 1566-1567). Some people believe that Shahrazad's stories are the beginning of feminism while others not. The work is contradictory since it has extremely misogynist parts and feminist parts. The purpose of this essay is to find out can this text be viewed as a feminist text or not. 1) We can notice Shahrazad’ feminist views in some places. For example, there are many cases in the first several stories of Arabian Nights when women are disloyal and evil, but there are also stories about the wrong of men. This is because Shahrazad wanted to balance human wrong and she attempts to expose the wrongs of both sexes equally. According to feminism, the women's and men's rights are equal. So, she tried to explain that women can also make mistakes as men and it is not right that they take into account only women's mistakes (Smith, 1).

More about The Thousand and One Nights: Issues of Gender & Feminism

Open Document