Study Guide

The Arabian Nights Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 123 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Arabian Nights.
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Infinity and Immortality

The passing on of stories is a universal means of preservation. It is a way to circumvent mortality. That The Arabian Nights is a story about storytelling conveys this idea of immortality: Scheherazade's telling stories is literally a means by which she preserves her own life, and the structure of her stories—stories within stories whose endings interweave with the next story's beginning, night after night—seem never-ending and, therefore, are a symbol of infinity.

Sexuality

The original Arabian Nights are full of sexuality, which the nineteenth-century translations previous to Burton's, in keeping with the stringent Victorian sexual mores of the time, largely left out. However, Burton's translation, in his effort to present a more complete version of the tales, preserves the sexual references, allusions, scenes, and themes. Moreover, his long annotations include extensive notes on Arabic sexual practices and the meanings of allusions, a feature...

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This section contains 1,660 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Arabian Nights Study Guide
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Gale
The Arabian Nights from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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