The beauty of Orient amazed the „civilized” world of Europeans and, later, of Americans from ancient times. Mysteries, spices, precious stones and expensive textile, science were appreciated “qualities” of oriental kingdoms. But, alongside all that, another aspect amazed the so-called sophisticated, educated world…the beautiful stories. And who don’ know a least a story from the famous “One thousand and one nights” or “Arabian nights”?
And who never heard about the mystical and wise Scheherazade?
She is the storyteller and also the queen of this huge collection of stories, the wife of Shahryar, Persian king from early times.
Deloused by his first wife’s behaviour and fidelity, the king decided to kill her.
After that unfortunate happening, Shahryar was suspecting all women of infidelity and he decided to marry each day a virgin maid, spend the night with her and, in the morning, kill her. He makes many victims. Three long years the madness of the king continued since no virgin remained in the kingdom. Upset, the grand vizier that had this regrettable mission confessed the problem to his daughter, the beautiful and very wise Scheherazade.
She offers herself to marry the king despite her father’s wish.
On the wedding night, with the pretext of saying goodbye to her sister Dinazade, she starts to tell stories but without finishing it at dawn saving the second part of every tale for the next evening. And so on, she escapes to the kings furry for three years. In all this time Shahryar falls in love with Scheherazade who has already with him three sons.
At the end of the last story Shahryar was cured by his obsession that all women are traitors and makes Scheherazade his Queen.
The character Scheherazade is the image of Wisdom and Patience that without any question are framed by Beauty. She was educated and well prepared for affronting the Madness and the Incoherence represented by the king.
The stories that she tells are not stories for children even that modern days adapted some of them for the little ones.
The story of Scheherazade was also adapted in music by Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov and for cinematography in movies like “Arabian Nights” in 1942, “Scheherazade” in 1963 (French movie) or “Arabian Nights” in 2000 for TV.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is not a character enough “exploited”. Scheherazade and the stories that she tells in the one thousand and one nights are an immense source of inspiration for much more.
Some interpretations of Scheherazade:
Maria Montez in 1942’s „Arabian Nights” (Universal Pictures)
Anna Karina , French „Scheherazade” (1963)
Mili Avital in 2000 ABC/BBC’s „Arabian Nights”
My vision of Scheherazade
I was wearing in these photos a vintage velvet vest, authentic shalwar, no name new and vintage jewels, oriental shoes, pink scarf.
À bientôt !
I am very grateful to a friend for giving me the idea for this subject. 😉