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?
Ok where do I start, trying to understand Shahryar’s madness is in my opinion, like trying to understand why people commit suicide. One can’t fathom the idea of committing suicide or murdering someone until they find themselves in the same struggle. So trying to understand Shahryar I don’t think is really something we can do until we have been there. However, does that struggle make it ok?
No, Shahryar’s actions were an act of evil and I no way ok, do they make sense? Yes, they the reason or motive is clear. Shahryar is a king someone in high statue, he gets his pride degraded, humiliated if you will. Of course that brought great anger. In those days women were inferior to man, and for a woman too betray him was extremely embarrassing, disrespectful and brought him great anger. Again do I think its ok, defiantly not but, the motive is clear and there is no mystery as to why he did what he did. When you degrade a man’s pride in this macho society it forces a prideful man to act with his ego. In fact I hold a great deal of respect for men and women who can maintain humility and self-control, when confronted with issues that deal with ego and pride.
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?
In the merchant and the demon story the gender is turned, it seems that the demon is a woman and the having the control and the power over the men. On the contrary, in the merchant and his wife the males have the power and animals and women are inferior. It shown because at first the male was manipulated by his wife, however after hearing from the rooster and the dog.
3. Do you believe the penalties suffered are appropriate to the sins committed in Dante’s Inferno? Why or why not?
This was very interesting because the penalties for the sins seemed very random. It seemed that the penalties weren’t specific to the sin. None the less, it also showed that some sin is worse or less bad than others. It was weird to see sin as a tier system. It makes me wonder if heaven is the same way. Tiers for how good of a person you were. Either way, I thought the penalties weren’t appropriate in the regard that the penalties were kind of random.
I agree with your answer to the first question for the most part. I don’t think that Shahryar’s acted out of ego directly. I think that even after the encounter with the demon and the maiden that Shahryar’s is still consumed by madness. Encountering the demon and see the maidens suffering may have made Shahryar’s feel better but it did not end his misery or madness. I do believe Shahryar’s ego is what drove him to madness in the first place though. Its like Achilles getting over his own ego and avenging his friends death; and ends by desecrating Hectors body. Both of these characters have gone mad, Its not till Shahrazad is able to teach the king through her stories that she is able to help bring the king back to his senses.