One Thousand and One Nights; The Inferno

1. How are we to understand Shahrayar’s madness? Does it make sense to you? That is, are male egos in macho societies that frail, or is his a special case?

Shahryar’s madness was caused by his wife sleeping with the chef. One human that has been cheated on will tell you that they are angry and mad! There is no denying this. Male egos are very frail, men just won’t admit that. Shahrayar’s case was not special because this happens all the time, except in this story he kills his wife, which has happened before sadly.

2. Both the vizier and his daughter, Shahrazad, tell tales that surround their human characters with important animals, but the animals play different roles in the imaginative worlds of father and daughter. Compare and contrast the powers attributed to the animal world in The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey and The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife with those described in The Story of the Merchant and the Demon. How may these differences reflect the contrasting visions of gender relations so central to The Thousand and One Nights?

The Story of the Merchant and the Demon was about how once everyone was human but because of their sins they were transformed into a certain type of animal, but they could still speak. Where in the Tale of the Ox and Donkey  animals can speak to one another and plan together.

3. Do you believe the penalties suffered are appropriate to the sins committed in Dante’s Inferno? Why or why not?

I believe that the penalties suffered are appropriate. You do the crime, you do the time type of a deal. Dantes had the different levels of sins for each sinner. The worse the crime the worse the level. So it wasn’t that everyone was suffering the same punishment.

6 thoughts on “One Thousand and One Nights; The Inferno

  1. Josh

    I think your little synopsis of the stories was very good. In a very short manner you summed it up very well. I also agree with you in the do the crime do, do the time system.

  2. megkwag

    I also like your idea with doing the crime, do the time! I have heard that saying so many times before but I never even gave it a thought when reading Dante’s Inferno! Great idea!

  3. sbutler12

    I agree with your answer to the first question that his ego is not special in this case. However, I also believe that his madness was justified and I do not think this should be a negative image on his ego.

  4. bdfleagle


    I enjoyed your first answer! I find it amusing you mentioned that men will not admit that their ego’s are frail. Of course they are frail, we are human. Yet I don’t think that they are any more nor less frail then women’s, its just that they project themselves differently. Many men are not even aware of their ego, let alone feel the need to defend it, thus their confusion and anger when it gets hurt. Ego is simply a made up word for our self-esteem. How we view ourselves and it is human nature to react to humiliation and pain.

    1. swtrinchet

      I would also like to politely disagree with your statement about men not admitting that their egos are frail. The reason we see so much literary representation of men taking violent and destructive action because of hurt egos is not because men are more prone to frail egos or denying those egos. Men have just been in more physical power over their surroundings for most of the eras we’re studying in this class. It’s true that Achilles let fellow soldiers die over the defense of his ego. Perhaps if Medea were in battle and not stuck at home, she would have taken out her anger on the man who hurt her, and not their children. I don’t believe that men have the monopoly on egotism and denial. We’re all humans, we all have egos, and nobody deals with their own perfectly.

  5. jwmaring

    I can’t really get behind your do the crime, do the time idea as it relates to the question. When I read in the opening part of Inferno that infants were in hell because they were no baptized, I had a problem with this. If it was really that serious, then the parents should go to hell for not having their babies baptized. I don’t see how it could be the infants fault. Let us not forget, even Jesus required the care of adults before he was of age to perform miracles and teach parables to others.

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