Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fidelity and Infidelity in the Arabian Nights

"Arabian Nights" is probably one of the most famous literary works of the Eastern civilization, which incorporates literary heritage of different countries united into one literary work. At the same time, the creation of this book perfectly reflects the major political and socio-economic trends in the Caliphate era. In fact, the book represents a collection of stories which vary by their genres and style, but which convey basic views and socio-cultural norms of that epoch. "Arabian Nights" is a monumental work which depicts the life of different peoples. In such a way, the book has a considerable historical and cultural value. On the other hand, the book is valuable from the artistic point of view since stories, which comprise the book, are stylistically rich and, in many respects, innovative for the literature of that epoch.

"The Arabian Nights: Tales from A Thousand and One Nights" raise a number of themes, which were very significant for the society of the epoch when the book was created. However, many of the themes covered in the book may be considered to be universal and eternal since, even in the present epoch, these themes are still relevant. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the theme of fidelity and infidelity, which occupies one of the central places in the entire book and may be easily traced from tale to tale. Obviously, this theme was very significant in the context of the strengthening of Islam and the establishment of Islamic principles, which condemned infidelity and glorified fidelity, emphasizing the importance of virtuous family life and forbidding any extramarital connections. As a result, the entire book may be viewed as a kind of prejudice against infidelity and, in all probability, one of the major goals of the book was to promote the virtuous lifestyle and fidelity as an essential condition of a happy family life. On the other hand, the presence of numerous stories where both men and women prove to be infidel may indicate to the possibility of the presentation of an alternative non-Islamic view of the relationship between men and women. What is meant here is the fact that the book depicts the actual nature of men and women and their inability to lead an absolutely virtuous life as Islam prescribes. In such a situation, it is very important to analyze in details “Arabian Nights” and dwell upon some stories where the theme of fidelity and infidelity is particularly strong, in order to find out what was the main message of the book concerning the problem of fidelity and infidelity.
At the same time, it is hardly possible to evaluate adequately the theme of fidelity and infidelity in “Arabian Nights” with a brief analysis of the historical background of the book, when it was created and what were the basic historical and socio-cultural trends in the epoch of the creation of this book. On the basis of the historical background of the book, it will be possible to understand clearly the theme of fidelity and infidelity and its significance within the book.