IELTS Level: writing exercise. ‘1001 Nights – The Arabian Tales.’

5th November 2021

While school lockdown continues, an opportunity for higher level students to practise their writing skills as well as learning about some classic literature. I am referring to ‘The Arabian Nights’ otherwise known as ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ which was compiled in the Middles Ages.

The collection features stories from the Middle East and Indian, though the exact time of writing, and by whom, is still uncertain. As with Classical mythology, many characters are still referenced in modern life, characters such as Sinbad, Ali Baba, Aladdin and Scheherazade.

Writing exercise

Image result for scheherazade
Painting by Ferdinand keller ‘Scheherazade und Sultan Schariar’ (1880).

1001 Nights

The main frame story concerns Shahryār ruling in “India and China”. He is shocked to learn that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering that his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed. 

In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. 

Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. 

On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. This goes on for 1,001 nights.

This is quite a long introduction; how could you reduce it to three sentences ?

Some stories in English can be found here:

http://www.storynory.com/category/fairy-tales/1001-nights/

Image result for arabian nights book
Image result for arabian nights book illustrations

The original blog was posted: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/24/adult-speaking-class-level-2-part-6/

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