Husain Haddawy's The Arabian Nights

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The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy is a collection of stories within stories, all reflecting the frame story of King Shahrayar’s desire for vengeance and the cleverness of his supposed future murder victim Shahrazad. Throughout the development of the stories, the images of cutting and separation appear constantly in both the literal and symbolic sense. These themes are especially evident in “The Story of the Three Apples.” The murder of a young woman, the mistake of a husband, the noble justice of a vizier, and the intense vengeance of a caliph, expose King Shahrayar’s shortcomings in his rule of his kingdom and the smooth manipulation of him by Shahrazad. At this point in the story, the reader knows the two possible perpetrators of the crime, yet the vizier has yet to figure out who actually committed the crime itself: the father of the victim or the husband of the victim. “Then the caliph said to Ja’far, ‘Hang them both.’ But Ja’Far said, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, since only one of them is guilty, it will be unjust to hang the other too’” (Haddaway,…show more content…
He admits, “[He] took a sharp knife and, stealing behind her silently knelt on her breast, worked the knife into her throat, and cut off her head” (Haddaway, 186). Through this explanation, he is able to prove that he committed the murder. This is the most important cutting in the “Story of the Three Apples.” It is important to note where the husband cut his wife’s body. He cuts through her heart and then up to her neck to decapitate her. The woman and her cuts obviously represent what the King happens to be doing to his kingdom. He is separating the body, specifically the heart, from the head itself. It shows that his kingdom is being ruled in a disconnected fashion. The heart and the head are disconnected, which is obvious through the method of murder. She is cut through the heart and then through the

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