The Role of Women in Literature Essay

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The Role of Women in The Thousand and One Nights, The Ramayana of Valmiki and The Medea

Throughout most of the assigned readings in this class, women are portrayed as clever, ruthless, and deceitful individuals that are willing to do whatever it takes in order to get what they desire. With careful calculation and timing they are able to manipulate others into doing things their way and have favor in their eyes. Sometimes they use their craftiness for good and other times for evil, whatever reason they have for such action usually impacting the story and its characters immensely.

In The Thousand and One Nights tale, the deceitfulness of women impacts the story from the beginning to the end. Every good and bad thing that occurred in
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However, instead he discovers how cunning and devious women can truly be. During his trip he met a demon’s wife who had slept with one-hundredth men, including him and his brother, Shahzaman, right in the demon’s presences without him knowing. From that point on the fate of many women changed, because King Shahrayar vowed to never have anything to do with a woman for more than a night. He went on a killing rampage; every woman who slept with him for the night was immediately killed at dawn. Since it was the cunning of women that caused him to start practicing such an abominable lifestyle, it was that same cunningness that unknowingly changed him.

Greatly disturbed by the king’s practice, Shahrazad, the king’s vizier’s daughter, devised a plan that she hoped would save her and many other women. For a thousand and one nights, she told the king numerous tales and through those nights he changed gradually. Not for once did he noticed the passing of each night, he was so hooked in the tales that were being told to him that the thought of him being trick did not crossed his mind. At the end instead commanding the death of Shahrazad, he instead thanked and blessed her several times. Yes, great is truly the cunning of women (The Thousand and One Nights, 413).

This quote can be related to many other works of literature. One thing is true for sure; as long as a woman character is present in a story one should expect deceitful and craftiness. In
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