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Course Hero. "The Arabian Nights Study Guide." April 17, 2020. Accessed April 10, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Arabian-Nights/.
Course Hero, "The Arabian Nights Study Guide," April 17, 2020, accessed April 10, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Arabian-Nights/.
Fairy Tales, Fantasy
Gathering centuries of storytelling from Iraq, India, Egypt, China, Iran, and other countries, The Arabian Nights—also called The Thousand and One Nights—portrays the medieval Islamic empire at the height of its glory. The famous frame story introduces brave storyteller Shahrazad, who delays her execution at the hands of a tyrannical king by enthralling him with a new tale every night. The stories range from fables and comic anecdotes to fantasies, legends, and tragic romances, blending mysticism and religious devotion in a collection unlike any other.
Most of the stories are narrated in third person because the fictional storyteller, Shahrazad, is relating them to King Shahrayar. Several characters within the stories tell their own stories, and these are narrated in third person or first person.
The stories are told in the past tense.
The stories in The Arabian Nights come from Arabic-speaking countries and locations in the Arabian Peninsula. According to the frame story, the storyteller Shahrazad, King Shahrayar's newest bride, tells a new tale each night and finishes each story in the morning. Her husband, King Shahrayar, killed his former brides every morning, and Shahrazad wants to save her life by keeping him interested in the stories. The tales collectively make up the "Nights" of the title.
This study guide for Andrew Lang's The Arabian Nights offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.