The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights

What roles do women play in the stories? What percentage of the stories are about women? How do they differ, if at all, from stories about men?

The Thousand and One Nights

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

The female character in the Arabian Nights are portrayed in a number of different ways. Wives are generally portrayed as disobedient, whereas slaves and concubines are seen as objects meant to give pleasure and little else.

In "The Thousand and One Nights," we meet deceitful wives, women who cheat on their husbands and commit mischief. Slaves and concubines are seen as beautiful, submissive objects, although they are also seen as expendable. Slaves are also given freedoms and knowledge withheld from wives; they're taught music, verse, and various other entertainments. In “Tale of Sympathy the Learned," we also see a slave girl educated in the Quran. Other stories follow along the same lines.


The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights