The Arabian Nights Parts I and II

The Arabian Nights Parts I and II
Now it is time for storytelling at its finest. In this discussion, I will refer to the storyteller Shahrzad, in the Persian tranlisteration. The first parts are "The Merchant and the Genie" and "The History of the Fisherman".

We have to imagine what the scene is for the storytelling. Was Shahrzad comfortable sitting on a chair or on the floor? Was she able to drink and eat while telling her story? This I leave to your imagination and as performers, allow you to create that scene in your own way.

Keep in mind that Shahrzad has to live, so that other women don't become victim to the Sultan.

Her first story is that of the "Merchant and the Genie". Shahrzad tells the Sultan, during the night, the story of the Merchant who was on a journey. While on the journey, he ate his dates, threw the stones from his dates all over. After saying his prayers, a Genie appeared before him.

The Genie told the Merchant he was going to die. Not knowing why he was going to die, the Genie told him one of the stones struck his son, killing him. It was an accident, but the Genie didn't care. The Genie lifted the scimitar in rage to kill the Merchant.

Day broke and Shahrzad told her sister that she would tell the rest of the story if the Sultan allowed her to live. Interested, he wanted to hear the rest.

That night, Shahrzad went on to say that the Merchant made a deal with the Genie. He told him he needed a year to make arrangements with his family and then return to die. The Genie allowed this to happen and as promised, one year later, the Merchant returned to the spot where the Genie made his appearance.

Waiting for the Genie, three old men arrived at different times, asking the Merchant what he was doing. After explaining to all three men, the Genie appeared and was about to execute the Merchant when the first old man, who was with a hind, asked the Genie to forgive one third of the punishment if his story was interesting to the Genie.

The first old man told his story as to why he was with the hind. He told his story and one third was forgiven. The second old man, who was with two dogs, told his story, and two thirds were forgiven. However, in the Arabian Nights, readers have no clue how the third old man told his story. Nevertheless, the Genie forgives the Merchant, who goes on to live happily ever after.

She ended her Merchant story, by saying, "There is no story as interesting as that of the Fisherman". With still enough time, the Sultan allows Shahrzad to tell the story.

The Fisherman had bad luck. He found a lamp in his net, rubbed it, and a Genie appeared, who was trapped for hundred of years inside the lamp. Because of the length of time, the Genie wanted to kill the Fisherman. There was quite a bit of conversation between the two, when finally, the Fisherman asked the Genie to prove he was in the lamp. Not being too bright, the Genie went inside the lamp to prove to the Fisherman he was truthful. The Fisherman told the Genie that was where he was going to stay there forever.

The Fisherman told the Genie a story about the Greek King and Douban, the physician who offered his services to cure the King's leprosy. The cure was a unique one, where the King had to strike a ball, the remedy being on the bat, until the heat of his hand allowed the remedy to fill his body. After the remedy did such, the King was instructed to sit in a bath, the next morning, he would be cured of his disease.

Jealousy from the King's vizier took over and the physician was murdered. The Greek King would then be murdered because of why he did to Douban.

At the conclusion of the story, the Genie promised the Fisherman he would not harm him when released, and keeping his promise, the Fisherman caught lots of bright fish, so bright, the Sultan paid a lot of money for the fish.

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