Provide a characterization of Shahrazad from The Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights).

Shahrazad of The Thousand and One Nights is a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and courageous trickster figure who knows how to outwit the king. She saves her own life and those of other women.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shahrazad is a courageous and compassionate trickster. A trickster is a traditional figure in literature who has little power but nevertheless survives by having greater wits and intelligence than the powerful. The trickster exists in all cultures and is a folk hero.

Shahrazad is aware that the king, who was hurt and betrayed by a former wife, marries a woman, sleeps with her for one night, and then has her killed the next morning, only to repeat the action the next day. Shahrazad wants to stop powerless and innocent women from dying and so comes up with a bold plan.

This beautiful and intelligent individual, who is an expert storyteller, easily catches the eye of the king, who marries her. To save her life, she tells him a tale, leaving it on a cliffhanger. If the king wants to know the ending, he will have to let her live another day. This goes on for 1,001 nights, until the king falls in love with Shahrazad and marries her, ending the terrifying killing and bestowing honor on this...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 717 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 20, 2020