The One Thousand Nights and A Ballad of Mulan

Directions: Choose four of the following passages, two from each section. Write a well-developed paragraph for each passage youâ€ve selected. Your paragraphs should:

Explain what is happening in the passage.
Quote at least three important phrases from the passage and explain why you think they’re important, how they help readers to understand the passage, and how the phrases connect to the text as a whole.
When you are finished, you should have written four paragraphs, one corresponding to each passage you selected.

Section 1: The Thousand and One Nights

A hundred men have known me under the very horns of this filthy, monstrous cuckold, who has imprisoned me in this chest, locked it with four locks, and kept me in the middle of this raging, roaring sea. He has guarded me and tried to keep me pure and chaste, not realizing that nothing can prevent or alter what is predestined and that when a woman desires something, no one can stop her.

“Shahrazad turned to King Shahrayar and said, ‘May I have your permission to tell a story?†He replied, ‘Yes,†and Shahrazad was very happy and said, ‘Listen.â€â€

When I dance and sing, those who see and hear me are damned by my beauty; when I walk in my perfumed clothing, balanced upon my feet, I kill; when I move my bottom, I overthrow; when I wink, I pierce; when I shake my bracelets, I make blind; I give life with a touch, and death by going away; I am skilfull in all the arts and have carried my education so far that only those who have worn out their life in study may see it, as it were, upon the far horizon.

Section 2: “The Ballad of Mulan”

Last night I saw the draft posters,

The Khan is calling many troops,
The army list is in twelve scrolls,
On every scroll thereâ€s Fatherâ€s name.
Father has no grown‑up son,
Mulan has no elder brother.
I want to buy a saddle and horse,
And serve in the army in Fatherâ€s place.

She goes ten thousand miles on the business of war,

She crosses passes and mountains like flying.
Northern gusts carry the rattle of army pots,
Chilly light shines on iron armor.
Generals die in a hundred battles,
Stout soldiers return after ten years.

Her comrades are all amazed and perplexed.

Traveling together for twelve years
They didnâ€t know Mulan was a girl.
“The he‑hareâ€s feet go hop and skip,
The she‑hareâ€s eyes are muddled and fuddled.
Two hares running side by side close to the ground,
How can they tell if I am he or she?”

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