Shahrazad as a Feminist

1457 Words6 Pages
She, written by H Rider Haggard is a novel about two men - Holly and his adoptive son, Leo who set out to search for a mysterious queen named Ayesha who had killed her lover, Kallikrates. After finding the queen, both of them hopelessly fall in love with her and remain in her control. Her legendary beauty implies that no man can look up upon her and keep his own self-control. On the other hand, Arabian Nights is about a collection of Arabic short stories told by a woman named Shahrazad to her lustful King. The King used to marry virgin women – one every night - and kill them the day after because he was once cheated by his late wife. However, this series of killing ends when he weds Shahrazad. Her generous nature to save other women in the kingdom is what motivates her to pursue the marriage. The major themes from the two novels are heroism, courage and ever-present sense of danger. Ayesha and Shahrazad are two different women in different situations. Both of these characters have shown the themes of female authority and feminine behaviour in their own ways. Feminism can simply be explained as women being equals to men when it comes to intelligence, competence, bravery and moral responsibility (Decter 45). Ayesha, a terrifying and dominant figure, uses her beauty to seduce and have power over men, while Shahrazad uses her intelligence by telling tales to teach the King lessons. In fact, most of female characters in the tales told by Shahrazad to the King also represent
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