Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Similarity between Shahrayar in A Thousand One Nights and Oedipus

The actions of Shahrayar in A Thousand One Nights remind me a lot of how Oedipus acted in Oedipus the King.  Oedipus refused to give in when the prophet Tiresias did not want to tell him who killed King Laius. The reason for this was that Tiresias was trying to protect him from finding out the truth that Oedipus was really the killer and had fulfilled his awful prophecy.  In A Thousand One Nights, King Shahzaman comes to visit King Shahrayar and is depressed due to his wife cheating on him.  King Shahrayar does not understand at first why Shahzaman is upset until he tells him after he is feeling better.  The reason Shahzaman feels better is that he witnesses his brother's wife cheating on Shahrayar while he is hunting.  Shahzaman realizes that he is not the only man of high authority who is taken advantage of.  Shahrayar demands that Shahzaman tell him how he has recovered from his depression so fast.  Shahzaman tries to protect Shahrayar from the painful truth in order to try and protect him just as Tiresias does to Oedipus.

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