Western Tradition Essay

Essay by MichaelZhaoHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2004

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Sindbad is part of a collection of stories called the Arabian Nights or the 1001 Nights translated by Robert Dawood. The traditional definition of a romance is a long narrative about the adventures of knights or other heroes. Sindbad fits this definition for three main reasons. Therefore, Sindbad is a romance hero.

Firstly, Sindbad is a romance hero because he has an innate love of adventure and daring journeys. Sindbad cannot be content with leading a "...jovial and extravagant life..." (Dawood 842) because his heart yearns for the sea. Like a true romance hero, Sindbad is in constant search of adventure.

Secondly, Sindbad upholds the codes of chivalry. Although a description of a swashbuckling pirate would fit Sindbad the best, he still has an innate sense of righteousness he follows. He offers the captain "...a rare pearl..." (Dawood ) in return for the rescue of his life. Sindbad also gives "lavish alms to the orphanages and widows" (Dawood ) as a means of helping less fortunate people.

Thirdly, Sindbad is motivated by a quest. His constant quest is to search for a treasure trove of gold and/or adventure. He searches for gold and jewels to increase his personal prestige and not so much to get rich. If in fact it were the latter, Sindbad would not have given alms to the city. However, he does not always get the money through swashbuckling means. By making saddles for the king and vizier, he is made "...the richest man in the island" (Dawood 844). Sindbad simply cannot pass on an opportunity to get rich. Even when he escapes from the tomb, his love of gold gets the better of him. He "...gathered up all the jewels, pearls, and precious ornaments..." (Dawood 846) as if to benefit from his adventure on the island.