How do individual stories in Boccaccio's Decameron, de Navarre's Heptameron, and One Thousand and One Nights relate to their frame narrative?

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The stories in Boccaccio’s The Decameron relate to their frame narrative in that they possess a united philosophical outlook. All of the stories in the novel explore the theme of fortune and how quickly the tide may turn in one’s favor or disfavor. In The Decameron, it can be argued that the individual tales are more important the frame narrative itself, as the tales are how the author conveys the main point of the novel – that the natural virtues of man outweigh the so-called divine virtues espoused by the Roman Catholic Church during Boccaccio’s time. The storytellers themselves, seven young women and three young men, are insignificant compared to the tales they tell.

Meanwhile, the stories in de Navarre’s Heptameron relate to their frame narrative in that, while they do not possess a common theme, most of them relate to matters of love, romance, and infidelity. The Heptameron, in fact, is inspired by the The Decameron.

Finally, the stories in One Thousand and One Nights relate to their frame narrative in that all of them end on a cliffhanger so that every night, King Shahryar is forced to postpone Scheherazade’s execution indefinitely. It can be argued that the frame narrative is more significant than the individual tales themselves, as it contains the text’s main point—that stories lead to powerful human connections. In the end, Scheherazade successfully wins over the king, and the two are able to live happily ever after.

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