What do you believe the demon symbolizes in the The Story of the Fisherman and The Demon? What allegories do you read in this story?
I think the demon in this story represents the journey that the king takes in the Thousand and One Nights. The demon is bitter at being trapped in his tiny jar far out at sea, and determines that through the actions of one man (Solomon), he will kill the next person to open the jar, just as the king is bitter at the actions of his wife and determines to kill every woman he marries .
The fisherman actually symoblizes Shahrazad — both of them tell stories to immediately halt the demon and the king from carrying out their evil acts by peaking their interest. These stories are not only entertaining, but always have a moral attached. In the fisherman’s story, the moral was that “no good deed goes unpunished’., which makes the demon rethink his plan to kill the fisherman (well, that and the fact that the fisherman was going to throw him back in the ocean). Likewise, Shahrazad’s tales are making the king rethink about killing her immediately — he’s interested in her stories and wants to find out what happens! Eventually, the demon leads the fisherman to a magical lake with strange and mysterious fish and vanishes, symbolizing the exorcism of the king’s own demons — his need to heal from the bitterness his wife introduced into his heart.
I agree about the symbolism in the tales and how it relates to the real world they are caught in. The King seems to opening up to Shahrazad and enjoying his evening story time. His bitterness seems to be changing just as the men in the stories change. Good read – thanks.
I agree that the fisherman and Shahrazad both are causing a change. They are teaching the Demon and the King about themselves.
The stories were very entertaining and Sharazad was so clever to be able to use her characters to express her own situation. Great job summarizing it up. I could easily see how the King could get so wrapped up in her stories, I found my self easily wrapped up in them as I was reading.