Myth-Folklore Unit: Arabian Nights

Overview. You have probably heard of the storyteller Scheherazade and the "Arabian Nights," known in Arabic as Alf-Layla-wa-Layla, "The 1001 Nights" (Thousand-Nights-plus-Night). In this selection from The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, you will learn why telling these stories is a matter of life-and-death for the lovely Scheherazade, and you will also get to see the "nested" storytelling technique in action, when a character in a story tells a story of their own, and a character in that story in turns tells a story of their own, thus creating stories within stories within stories. You may even be familiar with some of the stories that Scheherazade tells; the tale of "Aladdin and the Lamp," for example, is one of the stories you will find in this unit.

Language. This book consists of a modern retelling of the Nights, rather than a direct translation of the medieval text, so the language should not pose any problems.

Story Length. This unit contains a series of nested single-page stories (stories within stories), along with one very long story, Aladdin.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Arabian Nights. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. Scheherazade
  2. The Story of the Merchant and the Genius
  3. The Story of the First Old Man and of the Hind
  4. The Story of the Second Old Man, and of the Two Black Dogs
  5. The Story of the Fisherman
  6. The Story of the Greek King and the Physician Douban
  7. The Story of the Parrot; The Story of the Ogress
  8. The Story of the Physician's Revenge
  9. The Story of the Sultan and the Fish
  10. The Story of the Young King of the Black Isles
  1. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 1
  2. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 2
  3. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 3
  4. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 4
  5. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 5
  6. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 6

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