The story of Shahrazad has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. The most popular of the 1,001 Tales of Arabia, it is considered by writers from all walks of life to be one of the world’s greatest treasures; the embodiement of the ancient power of a good story
Art, trickery and craft, beautifully combined.
The story takes place in the kingdom of King Shahryar, the ruler of an ancient Persian city state, who discovers to his deep dismay that his adored wife had been unfaithful.
Devastated, he has her sentenced to death the very next morning. The betrayal of his beloved and his subsequent bitterness convince him that all women are untrustworthy and he vows to never again be married for more than a day and to always kill his wives on the morning after their betrothal.
This caused deep discomfort and great fear in the kingdom.
The King’s vizier was given the dreadful daily task of finding a new bride for the king and then having her executed the morning after. By the time the number of executed brides reached 3,000, the vizier was finding it impossible to discover new brides. It was at this time that the vizier’s own beautiful daughter, Shahrazad, offered herself up as a candidate and informed him that she was willing to marry the King. She hinted to her father that she had a way of ending the ceaseless killings.
The vizier begged his daughter not to ask for this but she was determined and insisted.
Reluctantly, he accepted her wish and offered her hand in marriage to the King who unashamedly accepted.
On the wedding night, Shahrazad began to tell the King a mesmerizing and very long story. He was captivated by the tale, hanging on to her every word. As the evening drew on and she became sleepy, she abruptly stopped narrating the story and said she wanted to go sleep. No amount of coaxing by the KIng changed her mind. Desperate to know the outcome of the story, the King postponed her execution the next morning.
The same thing happened every night for 1,001 nights. In the end, the King fell deeply in love with Shahrazad and abandoned his plan to have her executed thus bringing to an end the bloodshed and revitalizing the now no-longer brokenhearted King, which goes to show the effect of a powerful and well-told story
The true art of storytelling even thousands of years ago…