Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Shahriar, Emperor of Persia and India. Convinced of the unfaithfulness of all women, he vows to marry a new woman every day and have her executed the next morning.
Scheherazade, his wise and beautiful bride. On the night of their wedding, she begins to tell him a tale that so fascinates him that he stays her execution for a day so that he can learn the end of the story. The stories are continued for a thousand and one nights. Then, convinced of her worthiness, he bids her live and makes her his consort. The following are characters in some of her stories:
The King of the Black Isles
The King of the Black Isles, who nearly kills the lover of his unfaithful queen. She gets revenge by turning her husband’s lower half into marble and his town and all its people into a lake of fish. A neighboring sultan kills the lover and deceives the queen into undoing all her enchantments; then she too is killed.
Sindbad the Sailor
Sindbad the Sailor, who, in the course of his voyages, visits an island that is really the back of a sea monster; a valley of diamonds; an island inhabited by cannibal dwarfs and black one-eyed giants; and an underground river.
The Caliph Harun-al-Rashid of Baghdad
The Caliph Harun-al-Rashid of Baghdad, Sindbad’s ruler.
(The entire section is 473 words.)
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