“Not even all that I had gone through could make me contented with a quiet life. I soon wearied of its pleasures and longed for change and adventure.” What is it that makes Sindbad so restless? Is this a positive attribute or a negative one? It could be said that he’s reckless, or maybe it’s good that he refuses to be lazy and complacent. He definitely has a level of complexity about him.
Sindbad is shocked that the merchants kill the baby roc. He must have an appreciation for nature, even scary, dangerous nature. Or maybe he just knows that the mother roc is nearby.
In the other voyages, the crewmembers who die seem almost innocent and undeserving of that fate, but in this voyage, they’re symbolically getting paid back for killing the baby roc.
It’s interesting that the sailors Sindbad finds know that it is the island of the Old Man of the Sea, but Sindbad has not been able to identify it as such. I think this is a clue that Sindbad is not a good mariner; he’s just lucky enough and clever enough to survive these encounters.
It mentions “friends and relations,” and I would be very interested to see more from these characters and what they thought of Sindbad’s adventures.
Maybe it is Sindbad that is causing the bad luck to befall all of these ships. Maybe he’s cursed by some god or doesn’t follow the superstitions of sailing and is somehow bringing all of this doom upon himself and his fellow sailors.
It turns very suddenly from all the sailors being alive to all of them being dead. Why doesn’t Sindbad try to save them all? And Sindbad never seems to mourn much for these deaths. In fact, he shows little emotion at all. The prose is very clinical and factual as he plainly relates what happened to him.
You would think that by this point Sindbad wouldn’t be so worried about amassing treasure since he has so much money at home already.
“Close thine eyes, and while thou sleepest Heaven will change thy fortune from evil to good.” Is this a religious proverb? We haven’t seen much evidence of a religious disposition from Sindbad in any of these stories, but it would make sense if he was.
This one is different because Sindbad does not choose to go. I wonder if this will mean things will not follow the same pattern that they did in the previous voyages.
“…those who were prudent enough to submit at once, of whom I was one.” Sindbad is not a warrior, and while he likes sailing and adventure, he doesn’t seek danger. In fact, he seems weary of it at this point. I wouldn’t say he is cowardly, but he’s certainly not actively courageous. Rather, he does what is necessary to survive.
The Voyages of Sindbad from The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Lang. Web source.
Image 1: Indian elephant. Source – Wikipedia.
Image 2: Sindbad on the raft by Rene Bull. Source – Wikipedia.