Essay on Sex and Lies in Arabian Nights

1082 Words Sep 26th, 1999 5 Pages
Sex, Lies, and Open Sesame In Richard Burton’s translation of Arabian Nights, several stories revolve around three ideas; sex, lies, and violence. It seems that one idea hinges on another and the stories use one to justify the other. This paper will explore the use of sex, lies, and violence and their interdependence on one another throughout three stories. These stories are “The Story of King Shahryar and His Brother,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “The Hunchback’s Tale.” It will also discuss the strange use of these ideas in the stories as well as Arabian culture. Sex has been a mainstay in literature for countless years. Many love stories reach their highest point …show more content…
After struggling with the information, Shah Zamon decides to tell his brother and after discovering the truth King Shahryar decided that no woman could be trusted. He then developed a plan; first he killed his wife, her lover, the concubines, and the white slaves. Then he decided, “He also swore a binding oath that whenever he married, he would take his new wife’s maidenhead at night and slay her the next morning to make sure of his honor, for he was convinced that there never was or could be one chaste woman upon the face of this earth.” (Page 12) This example once again proves that sex, lies, and violence all spins the web of problems that we see in this book. Violence is a concept that takes on many different uses in Arabian culture. It is used both as a means of killing, protecting, and punishing. In “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” after Ali Baba finds treasure in the cave of the thieves, his brother Kasim is jealous and follows him back only to get caught within the cave. When he is discovered by the thieves he is not only murdered but also his body is used to fore warn others. “…they (the thieves ) decided to quarter Kasim’s dead body and hang two parts on the right and two parts on the left of the door so that the sight would be a warning of doom to all those who might dare
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