Shahrazad is a legendary, intelligent, and wise Persian woman who volunteers to marry a ruthless king. As a skilled, sophisticated, and smart storyteller, Shahrazad utilizes numerous techniques to captivate the attention of the audience, especially the king. A notable device utilized by Shahrazad is folklore, a recurrent feature in ancient Persian stories. Shahrazad narrates different stories to the king every night, with the tales involving kings, genies, witches, and demons.
For instance, in the narration “The Story of the Merchant and the Demon,” Shahrazad describes how a demon wanted to kill the merchant as revenge for his son. The demon argued that the Merchant had killed his son with the date pit he threw. Hence, the story falls into the folklore genre since it was passed from one generation to the other and talked about supernatural beings threatening human life. However, the story had relevance and lessons of being merciful to others, especially the innocent.
Another powerful technique employed by Shahrazad is inspiring themes. In the same narrative of “The Story of the Merchant and the Demon”, one of the dominant themes is selflessness. The merchant requested the demon to allow him to visit his family for the last time. He came back to the orchard almost a year later to meet the monster and get the penalty. Three older men approached him, and as they talked, the merchant described to them his awful experiences with the demon. When the demon arrived, he told the three men if they narrated an exciting story to him, he would pardon the merchant, and the men selflessly agreed to the challenge.
Fortunately, the three older men told interesting stories that thrilled the demon who unconditionally released the merchant. Hence, the story reflects Shahrazad’s decision to volunteer to marry a king to change his perception of women to prevent more deaths. Thus, Shahrazad’s primary storytelling techniques include the theme of selflessness and the use of folklore.