I like the first person point of view and wonder how it will effect the story’s portrayal of Sindbad. I am also interested in seeing how Sindbad changes throughout the story since he begins “young and foolish”
“…and since that hour have been no more plagued by sea-sickness.” The prose here sounds a lot like a journal, almost a “Captain’s Log” sort of thing.
The island being a sleeping whale is very interesting and unexpected. The ocean in this story seems like a vast place full of mysterious things.
“The cliffs were high and steep, but luckily for me some tree-roots protruded in places, and by their aid I climbed up at last, and stretched myself upon the turf at the top, where I lay, more dead than alive, till the sun was high in the heavens.” What a classic adventure story scene. I think you could also say it symbolizes Sindbad rising from his reckless youth to his exciting and wealthy adulthood.
Where is Baghdad? Iran
What are timbals? They might be like timbales, which are high pitched drums typically used in Latin music.
How long is a cubit? Since it’s an ancient measurement, it varies, but it’s about the length of a forearm from fingertip to elbow.
It’s interesting how the First Voyage ends with Sindbad seeming to give up the life of sailing and wandering, but obviously things are not going to go as he plans once again.
It’s interesting that Sindbad is not the captain of the ship because I always thought he was. Maybe he gets there eventually.
Sindbad’s situations seem to be primarily caused by bad luck. He’s not actively seeking out adventure or trouble, but it happens to him because he happens to be in the wrong places at the wrong times. It’s good that he’s clever enough to keep himself alive!
The settings of these islands are so fascinating, from a whale island, to the roc island, to the snake and diamond island.
If I’m still looking for themes and symbolism here, I think there’s definitely something about the valley of diamonds also being guarded by giant snakes. Something about greed.
Wow, I wouldn’t have thought to grab diamonds to make friends with the merchants at the top of the cliff; that was very smart of Sindbad to do.
“This doubtless astonishes you, but if you do not believe my tale go to Rohat and see for yourself.” So Sindbad is telling this story to an audience that he addresses. This is a common narrative technique in oral storytelling as well as a popular metafictional “breaking the fourth wall” element.
“I settled down to enjoy tranquilly the riches I had gained with so much toil and pain.” Prosperity only comes after hard work, and there’s a certain amount of luck behind it.
It’s interesting that Sindbad seems to always end up alone. He’s loses all of his crew members and is forced to rely on himself to get to safety.
The Voyages of Sindbad from The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Lang. Web source.
Image 1: Sailboat sunset. Source – Max Pixel
Image 2: Collage of attractions from around Baghdad. Source – Wikipedia.