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Transcript of 1001 Nights
Sarah Wicks Vocabulary Introduction Biographical Information - Written anonymously; no one author
- Originates from three distinct cultures: Indian, Persian, and Arab
- Not regarded as part of the Classical Arab Canon, but "is today the best known and most widely read book of Arabic authorship" (7). Translation - First introduced to the Western world by Antoine Galland Influences on other works -structure of "The Thousand and One Nights" owes its origin to Indian folk tales, which would later be adopted by Boccaccio in "The Decameron" and Chaucer in "The Canterbury Tales" Prologue The "Tales from the Thousand and One Nights"
begins even before the Prologue, it starts with this opening page - Two king brothers, Shahriyar and Shahzaman have adulteress wives -They meet a jinee and his female captive, who is an adulteress too "The two kings marvelled at her story, and said to each other: 'If such a thing could happen to a mighty jinee, then our own misfortune is light indeed.'" -King Shariyar begins the custom of wedding a virgin then murdering her the next day
-Soon there are no women left and the Vizier's own eldest daughter, Shahrazad, volunteers herself "Give me in marriage to this King: either I shall die and be a ransom for the daughters of Moslems, or live and be the cause of their deliverance" (19). Frame Tale "Tell us, my sister, a tale of marvel, so that the night may pass pleasantly" -"The Thousand and One Nights" is written in the style of a frame tale, or a story within a story
-This style is used to deceive and trick, just as Shahrazad uses the frame tale to deceive the king, the frame tale of "The Thousand and One Nights" tricks the reader as well The Tales of the Barber's Six Brothers Common Themes: 1. Deception
2. Too good to be true
3. Bodily Injury
4. Banishment from Baghdad Injury: Lame (Broken Leg) “The Tale of Bakbook: The Barber’s First Brother” Bakbook was a tailor who lived in Baghdad and began lusting after a wealthy man’s wife. She tricked him into making clothes for her and her husband by making Bakbook think she was interested in sleeping with him. The couple married Bakbook to their slave-girl and he was tricked into turning the mill throughout his wedding night. The wealthy man and his wife decided to trick Bakbook once again, and led him to believe that the wife wanted to sleep with him. When Bakbook entered the house, the man captured him and took him in front of the governor. His punishment for his attempted adultery was whipping, humiliation by riding through town on a camel, and banishment from Baghdad. When he was on the camel, he fell off and broke his leg. The barber secretly brought him back to his home in Baghdad. (page 45-50) “The Tale of Al- Haddar: The Barber’s Second Brother” Injury: 100 lashes that lead him to be “loose-limbed and disfigured” One day, Al-Haddar was stopped by an old woman who offered him a home with beautiful gardens, alcohol, and an attractive woman as long as Al-Hadder did not ask any questions. Al-Haddar accepted and went with the old woman to the house where he met a young woman and began drinking. The old woman convinced Al-Haddar that he must let them shave off his beard and mustache if he wanted to be with the beautiful young woman. After he was shaved, he was told that he must chase the young woman around naked until he caught her. However instead of catching her, “the floor suddenly gave way beneath him… and he found himself … in the market of the leather-merchants” (53). The merchants took Al-Haddar to the governor who sentenced him to one lashes and banished him from Baghdad. However, the barber secretly brought him back to his home in Baghdad. (page 50-53) “The Tale of Bakbak: The Barber’s Third Brother” Injury: He begins the story blind then receives lashes as punishment Bakbak was a blind beggar in Baghdad who was turned away from a local home without being given any food or money. He told his two fellow blind beggars that he must take from their mutual savings in order to eat, and the three of them returned home. However, the man who turned Bakbak away from his home overheard their conversation about their mutual savings, and followed them home to steal from them. Over the course of their meal, they realized a fourth person was there stealing from them and they began to beat him. As soon as they called for the Governor, the fourth person pretended to be blind as well. Once they were before the Governor, the “pretended blind man” (57) told the Governor to whip all four of them in order for them to confess their crimes. After being whipped, the pretender confessed that the four of them had pretended to be blind and amassed “twelve thousand dirhams in silver” (58). The three truly blind men did not confess to any crimes and were whipped until they fainted. The Governor gave a quarter of the mutual savings to the pretended blind man and kept the remainder. The three blind men, including Bakbak, were also banished from the city, but the barber secretly brought Barbak back to his home in Baghdad. (page 53-58) “The Tale of Al-Kuz: The Barber’s Fourth Brother” Injury: Looses one eye, receives many lashes Al-Kuz was “a butcher and sheep-breeder in Bahdad” who sold mutton to an old man who paid him with very shiny coins (58). Each time the man paid with these shiny coins, Al-Kuz put them aside from the regular money. One day, Al-Kuz went to use the money and found “little rounds of white paper” (58). Al-Kuz accused the man of robbery, and in turn, the man accused Al-Kuz of selling human flesh instead of mutton. The crowd rushed into the shop to investigate and found a corpse. During this chaos, the “sorcerer” struck Al-Kuz which knocked his eye out. Al-Kuz was them brought in front of the city’s magistrates and was punished with 500 lashes and banished from Baghdad. One day, after Al-Kuz left Baghdad, the King saw Al-Kuz and had his slaves beat him and leave him for dead. Al-Kuz again fled and was again captured because the people of the town thought he was trying to kill the master of a house. Al-Kuz tried to tell his story, but upon seeing the scars from his previous lashes, no one would listen, and the Governor sentenced him to 100 more lashes. The barber secretly brought him back to his home in Baghdad. (page 58-61) “The Tale of Al-Ashar: The Barber’s Fifth Brother” Injury: Has his ears cut off Al-Ashar decided to spend his inheritance on glassware to sell. He immediately began to day dream about how his life would be after he sold the glassware and made a lot of money. During his day dream, he accidentally kicked his glass, knocking it over and breaking it all. He cried and berated himself for his mistakes, and a woman, upon seeing his grief, had her servant give Al-Ashar a purse full of 500 pieces of gold. When Al-Ashar went home with his gold, an old woman showed up who said that she knew the woman who gave Al-Ashar the gold. Al-Ashar followed the old woman to a house and once left alone, Al-Ashar was severely beaten by a slave. His wounds were packed with salt and he was thrown on a pile of corpses in the cellar. Al-Ashar awoke and, after a few days, was able to escape the house. After his wounds healed, Al-Ashar wanted revenge and tricked the old woman into taking him back to the house by making her think he was someone else (another victim). When the slave showed up to beat him again, Al-Ashar was prepared and cut off his head. Al-Ashar also killed the old woman but had mercy on the young woman who told Al-Ashar that he could have all of the money but that he would need help carrying it from the house. When Al-Ashar returned after retrieving help, he found that the young woman left with most of the money. Al-Ashar decided to take what was left, but was caught by the Governor’s men. After the Governor pardoned him, Al-Ashar told the whole story to the Governor. However, instead of keeping his word, the Governor decided to keep all of the loot and banished Al-Ashar from the city to prevent him from reporting the Governor’s actions to the Caliph. As Al-Ashar was leaving the city, he was attacked by robbers, and, finding nothing of value, the robbers cut off Al-Ashar’ ears. The barber secretly brought him back to his home in Baghdad. (page 61-68) “The Tale of Shakashik: The Barber’s Sixth Brother” Injury: Has his lips and penis cut off Shakashik was a beggar who happened to be let into a large mansion owned by the powerful Barmecide family. The master of the house welcomed Shakashik and told him to wash his hands in a basin. However the servant brought no basin but only pretended to do so. The old man pretended to wash his hands in a basin, and also pretended to eat in the same fashion. He urged Shakashik to do the same, and Shakashik went along with the joke, even though he was very hungry. The old man’s servants to continued to pretend to bring in food and wine, and Shakashik continued to pretend to eat and drink. After pretending to drink a lot of wine, Shakashik pretended to be drunk and hit the old man twice very hard. At the old man’s anger, Shakashik replied that he had become drunk but he knew that in light of the old man’s generosity, he would pardon his actions. The old man began to laugh and appreciated that Shakashik played along with his jest, and the old man had his servants bring out real food which they enjoyed. They lived together for “twenty years until the old man died and the Caliph seized all his property” (72). Shakashik was forced to flee Baghdad and he was taken prisoner by a chieftain of a Bedouin band who demanded ransom. The chieftain had a beautiful wife who tried to seduce Shakashik, who refused her. Eventually Shakashik caved in, and the chieftain discovered his wife sitting on Shakashik’s knee. The chieftain cut off Shakashik’s lips and penis and left him to die on a hillside. However, Shakashik was rescued by some travelers, and the barber brought him back to his home in Baghdad. (page 68-73) Discussion Questions 1. What is the significance of the reoccurring theme of bodily injury among the barber’s brothers? Think of the effect of the King’s actions during the frame-tale. 2. What is the significance of the reoccurring theme of deception? Think of Shahrazad’s actions during the frame-tale 1. Vizier (11) a high officer in a Muslim government
2. Sagacity (21) the quality of being discerning, sound in judgement, aand farsighted: having wisdom
3. Cadi (3) A judge
4. Perfidy (16) deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery
5. Jinnee/jin (18) In Muslin legend, a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people
6. Dominion (15) having supreme authority
7. Rapiers (18) a long slender, two-edged sword with a cuplike hilt, used in the 16th and 17th centuries
8. Entreaty (20) act of entreating; making an earnest request
9. Vestibule (25) a passage, hall or room between the outer door and the interior building, lobby
10. Incensed (44) feeling or showing anger The Tailor's Tale After discovering what truly happened to the hunchback the tailor steps forward to tell the king a tale as well from before he met the hunchback. He was at a breakfast party when the lame young man walks in. After being asked to stay the lame young man has an outburst and refuses to be in the same room as the “sinister barber”. The young man is then asked to tell his story. The Tale of the Lame Young Man
and the Barber of Baghdad The young man from the tailor’s tale is now recounting his tale at the breakfast party. His father died when he came of age and he inherited all of his father’s property so he was very well off. For some reason he was not very interested in women and when he saw a group of the approaching he ducked onto another street. There, a young girl opens her window and the young man is enthralled by her beauty. He waits outside and soon finds out that she is the Cadi’s daughter. The young man goes home very depressed and one of his servants, an older woman offers to arrange a meeting for them and he is overjoyed. She arranges the meeting and hints that a visit to the barber before going to the meeting would be a good idea so he calls for a barber. The barber is very inquisitive and tells him that it would be a bad idea for him to go see the girl. The barber continues to ramble and will not finish shaving the man. The young man gets frustrated and tries everything to get the barber to finish. He finally just leaves to go to the girl’s house, the door is open and he proceeds inside. Not long after he arrives the Cadi shows up. As soon as the Cadi arrives he begins beating a servant girl, a male slave intercedes and so he beats him instead. The male slave screams and the barber had followed the young man thinks that the young man is being murdered and begins to shout for help, that the Cadi is murdering his master. The Cadi came to the door and the barber accused him, the Cadi has no idea what he is talking about and tells the barber to prove it and the young man hides in a chest so that he is not discovered. The barber picks up the chest, runs down stairs and trips sending the young man flying out into the street and breaking his leg. The barber thinks that he has saved the young man but the young man is furious, sells all of his possessions and runs away vowing to never be in the same place as the barber again. The people than asked the barber if the young man’s story was true. The barber again states if it had not been for him the young man would be dead and the goes on to tell his tale. The Barber's Tale The barber told a tale from when Al-Munasir was the Caliph. The barber saw a boat with 10 people on it, the 10 happened to be prisoners that were about to be executed. The Caliph demanded that the 10 be executed and his guards killed them. Confused as to why there was one man left, he said again kill them. The guards said we did kill the 10. Here the barber speaks up explains that he is not a criminal and tells the Caliph that he has six brothers. The Caliph asks about his six brothers and in the next few stories he tells the Caliph about each of them. Discussion Question In the tale of the lame young man, is the barber actually foretelling the future or does he cause these events and how does this relate to the way that men and women are portrayed in the stories? The Tale of the Hunchback - A tailor and his wife meet a hunchback and invite him to their home for dinner; however, things go awry and the hunchback chokes on a fish bone.
-The tailor and his wife believe him to be dead, a chain of humorous events begin
-Jewish doctor > steward > Christian
-Series of self confessed murders
-King asks ""Have you ever heard a story more marvellous than that of the hunchback" (29)
-Tailor comes forth, thus begins another frame tale
Discussion Question What is the purpose of storytelling?