Infobox character
colour = Green
colour text =
name = Scheherazade
series = One Thousand and One Nights

caption = Queen "Scheherazade" tells her stories to King "Shahryar".
first =
last =
cause =
creator =
portrayer = Mili Avital, Catherine Zeta-Jones, María Montez, Cyrine Abdelnour
nickname =
alias =
species =
gender = Female
age =
born =
death =
specialty = Storytelling
occupation = Queen consort
title =
family = Chief Vizier (father)
Dunyazad (sister)
spouse = Shahryar
children = 3 sons
relatives =
residence =
religion = Muslim
nationality = Persian
lbl21 = Other names
data21 = Shahrazad, Shahrzād, Šahrzād

Scheherazade (IPAEng|ʃəˌhɛrəˈzɑːd, -ˈzɑːdə), sometimes Scheherazadea, Persian transliteration Shahrazad or Shahrzād ( _fa. شهرزاد Šahrzād), is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of "One Thousand and One Nights".

The frame tale goes that every day Shahryar (Persian: شهريار or "king") would marry a new virgin, and every day he would send yesterday's wife to be beheaded. This was done in anger, having found out that his first wife was betraying him. He had killed three thousand such women by the time he was introduced to Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter.

In Sir Richard F. Burton's translation of "The Nights", Shahrazad was described in this way::" [Shahrazad] had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of by gone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred."

Against her father's protestations, Scheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the King. Once in the King's chambers, Scheherazade asked if she might bid one last farewell to her beloved sister, Dinazade, who had secretly been prepared to ask Scheherazade to tell a story during the long night. The King lay awake and listened with awe to Scheherazade's first story and asked for another, but Scheherazade said there was not time as dawn was breaking, and regretfully so, as the next story was even more exciting.

And so the King kept Scheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated each new story, until, one thousand and one adventurous nights, and three sons later, the King had not only been entertained but wisely educated in morality and kindness by Scheherazade who became his Queen.

The nucleus of these stories is formed by an old Persian book called "Hezar-afsana" or the "Thousand Myths" (Persian: هزارافسانه).

The earliest forms of Scheherazade's name include Šīrāzād (شیرازد) in Masudi and Šahrāzād (شهرازاد) in Ibn al-Nadim, the latter meaning "she whose realm or dominion (شهر šahr) is noble (ازاد āzād)". In explaining his spelling choice for the name Burton says, "Shahrázád (Persian) = City-freer; in the older version Scheherazade (probably both from Shirzád = lion-born). 'Dunyázá' = world-freer. The Bres [lau] Edit [ion] corrupts the former to Shárzád or Sháhrazád; and the Mac [naghten] and Calc [utta] to Shahrzád or Shehrzád. I have ventured to restore the name as it should be." [Burton, Richard F. "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night", Burton Club, p.14, footnote.] . Having introduced the name Burton does not continue to use the diacritics on the name.

Scheherazade was identified, confused with, or partly derived from the legendary queen Homāy, daughter of Bahman, who has the epithet Čehrzād or Čehrāzād (چهرازاد) "she whose appearance is noble". Harun al-Rashid's mother, Al-Khayzuran, is also said to have influenced the character of Scheherazade.

In popular culture

* "Scheherazade", Op. 35, is a symphonic suite composed by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888, and is based on The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
* "Scheherazade" (1902), is a set of three poems for voice and orchestra by the French composer Maurice Ravel.
* Peter Cetera's 3rd solo album "One More Story" (1988) contains a song named Scheherazade. In the song, Cetera tells the story of an unhappy Arabian King who is bored with all his riches and harem of dancing girls but once he lays his eyes on Scheherazade, he suddenly becomes entranced by her and makes her his queen. Background vocals were performed by Madonna.
* "The Magic of Scheherazade" is a 1989 video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) by Culture Brain, Inc.
* "Scheherazade and Other Stories" is a 1975 album by the rock/folk group Renaissance
* "The Riddles of Scheherazade" is a book of logic puzzles by Raymond M. Smullyan.
* The "" card game features a card called Shahrazad, the art of which depicts the queen.
* In his novel "Chimera", John Barth evokes Scheherazade and becomes her muse as she becomes his.
* In Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children", the narrator repeatedly compares his own tales of his life to Scheherazade's, and mentions that he can't "count on having even a thousand nights and a night" (page 4) in which to tell them.
* In the Vertigo graphic novel "", Snow White takes the role of Scheherazade and tells background stories about the inhabitants of Fabletown in order to prevent her beheading at the hands of the Sultan. At the end of the book, Scheherazade makes an appearance, and Snow White tells her the secret to make sure the sultan doesn't have her executed. "He likes stories."
* The protagonist of Stephen King's novel "Misery", Paul Sheldon, frequently compares himself to Scheherazade as he writes a novel both for himself and to keep his captor from killing him.
* Kamelot's song 'Nights of Arabia' from the album The Fourth Legacy describes the story of Scheherazade.
* "Scheherazade" is the title of a poem in John Ashbery's book "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror".
* Scheherazade and a Thousand Tales is part of the lyrics of the song "Friend Like Me" in Disney's "Aladdin".
* "Scheherazade Sits" is the title of a song by filk artist Terence Chua.
* Shadow Spinner is a book written by Susan Fletcher about Shahrazad's tale through the eyes of a harem girl named Marjan.
* In the novel "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer, the narrator, Bella, avoids asking Edward any questions on the flight so she may have some time with him after the flight landed saying "I hoped that by postponing the discussion, I could buy a few more hours with him at some later time—spin this out for another night, Scheherazade-style."
* The Storyteller's Daughter is a novel that focuses specifically on the life of Scheherazade before and during her marriage to Shahryar
* "Scherezade" is the name of a Guymelef (mechanised robot) in the anime Escaflowne
* In the DuckTales episode "Master of the Djinni", Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold travel back in time, where they encounter the Sultan's wife, Schewebazade.
* "Scheherazade" is the name of an unlockable bonus character in Soulcalibur IV. In battle she wields a rapier named "Alf Layla Wa Layla", the Arabic name meaning "One Thousand and One Nights."
* The lyrics to the song "Strange Love" by Little Annie include a reference to the story of Scheherazade.


External links

* [ The Arabian Nights Entertainments] Project Gutenberg

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scheherazade — und Schahrayâr Scheherazade (auch Schahrsad, von persisch ‏شهرزاد‎ šahrzād) ist eine der Hauptfiguren aus der Rahmenhandlung der persischen Geschichten von Tausendundeiner Nacht. Sie ist die Tochter des Wesirs des persischen Königs… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schéhérazade — ou Shéhérazade personnage des Mille et Une Nuits, épouse du sultan Châhriyâr. Associant la culture et le rêve, cette jeune femme belle et pudique incarne en Occident la magie de l Orient …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Scheherazade — [shə her΄ə zäd′, shə her΄əzä′də] n. [Ger < Pers Shīrazād] in The Arabian Nights, the Sultan s bride, who saves her life by maintaining the Sultan s interest in the suspenseful tales she tells …   English World dictionary

  • Scheherazade — /sheuh her euh zah deuh, zahd , hear /, n. 1. (in The Arabian Nights Entertainments) the wife of the sultan of India, who relates such interesting tales nightly that the sultan spares her life. 2. (italics) a symphonic suite (1888) by Nikolai… …   Universalium

  • Scheherazade — o Shahrazad La esposa ficticia de un sultán que narraba Las mil y una noches. Según la historia que sirve de marco para la colección de cuentos, el sultán Shahryar descubrió que su primera esposa le era infiel y tras concluir que odiaba a todas… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Scheherazade — Scheherezade * * * Sche|he|ra|za|de, Sche|he|re|za|de [… za:də], die; , n: 1. <o. Pl.> Märchenerzählerin in »Tausendundeine Nacht«. 2. Geschichtenerzählerin. * * * Scheherazade   [ zade], Scheherezade, die Märchenerzählerin in… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Scheherazade — Sche|her|a|zade , Sheherazade the woman who tells the stories in The Arabian Nights. Scheherazade marries a man who always kills his wife on the night after the wedding. To prevent him from killing her too, she tells him part of an interesting… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Scheherazade — noun Etymology: German Scheherezade, from Persian Shīrazād Date: 1801 the fictional wife of a sultan and the narrator of the tales in the Arabian Nights Entertainments …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Scheherazade — Shéhérazade Pour les articles homonymes, voir Shéhérazade (homonymie). « Shéhérazade continua son histoire. » Illustration par Virginia Frances Sterrett (1928) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Schéhérazade — Shéhérazade Pour les articles homonymes, voir Shéhérazade (homonymie). « Shéhérazade continua son histoire. » Illustration par Virginia Frances Sterrett (1928) …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”