2nd 1001 Nights Reading

I believe that the demon directly translates to the type of person everyone viewed King Shahrayar after he became vengeful to every woman he slept with. In The Story of the Fisherman and the Demon, the demon becomes hell-bent on putting to death whoever releases him from the jar emplaced at the bottom of the sea. This type of vengeance which the demon displays to the person who frees him is totally irrational because it is completely detached from the motive of King Solomon to put him in it in the first place. Also, this vengeance is very similar to the type of vengeance King Shahrayar had conducted on a daily basis toward each of his new wives, for they were in no way responsible for his former cheating wife’s behavior.

The fisherman was persistent in stating to the demon, “Forgive me, and God will grant you forgiveness. Destroy me, and God will inflict on you one who will destroy you” (35). This is one message that Shahrazad wanted to firmly cement into King Shahrayar’s conscience. The way the fisherman used his cunning to trap the demon back into the bottle was very similar to the continuous stories which gripped the King’s interest every night and kept Shahrazad alive for one more day. Despite the fisherman’s fears and better judgment, he elects to stick to his logic of forgive and be granted forgiveness in the end rather than pushing the demon back into the sea. For I believe he felt this was better than having to stand guard over the sea for the rest of his days in order to prevent another fisherman from potentially releasing this awful demon. This is very similar to ┬áthe rational for Shahrazad wanting to take the King as her husband in the first place – for she ultimately wanted to prevent another women being put to death after a night in the King’s bed. Much to the fisherman’s surprise, the demon did not kill him when he released him a second time. This led to another set of tales that ultimately led to another king being released from a terrible fortune imposed on him by his evil wife, which in turn led to a whole community of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Magians being released from the sea and delivered back to their former lives.

So ultimately, the stories which begin on The Eighth Night and end on the Twenty-Seventh Night have to deal with morality and salvation. And the overall relevant theme is that no matter what someone does to you, it does not justify the conduct of immoral behavior toward someone else when they bear no responsibility for the other persons transgressions.

One thought on “2nd 1001 Nights Reading

  1. Caitlin

    I like how you compared the story of King Shahraya to the Fisherman and the Demon. I really like the comparison of the King and of Shahrazad.

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