While Shahrazad is indeed trying to stay alive through her storytelling, she has a greater purpose for telling stories to Shahrayar. What are two outcomes she is trying to achieve for Shahrayar through her storytelling? How do some of the stories relate to the frame of One Thousand and One Nights and help her achieve this end?

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By telling stories to Shahrayer, Shahrazad is putting her virtuosic mastery as a storyteller to the most dramatic test imaginable. She is also making an ambitious claim to rule, which succeeds when her inventiveness, statecraft, courage, and practical wisdom pay off and she is made royal consort, in addition to saving her sister's life.

In other words, Shahrazad's story is, in effect, a handbook for would-be rulers and public servants. Its implicit message is that mastery in the art of storytelling amounts to a plausible claim to rule, because it entails mastery of so many of the virtues appropriate to a ruler.

All of the stories told by Shahrazad can be read with reference to their conveyance of the message that the steadfast practice of the virtues—even in the face of duplicitous treatment by others—lead to the conferral of reward and responsibility. Thus, they contain a guidebook for rulers to follow (i.e., the factors that should be considered when elevating others to high...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 558 words.)

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