My Name is Red

My Name is Red

Shekure Character Analysis

Shekure is the 24-year-old heroine of the story. Everyone who has seen her thinks that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Her cousin Black falls in love with her when she is 12, and when her father Enishte banishes Black as a result, Shekure marries a handsome soldier and has two sons with him, Shevket and Orhan. However, before long Shekure’s husband disappears in battle, leaving Shekure in a limbo between being married and widowed. For a while she lives with her brother-in-law Hasan and his father, but she goes back to live with Enishte when Hasan attempts to rape her. Shekure and Enishte have an extremely close relationship, and Shekure is devastated when Enishte is murdered. Shekure often gives off the outward appearance of being helpless and obedient, but, in fact, she is quite determined, self-assured, and competent. She adores her two sons, and—although she loves Black, as well—she admits that motherhood is what brings her the most happiness.

Shekure Quotes in My Name is Red

The My Name is Red quotes below are all either spoken by Shekure or refer to Shekure. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of My Name is Red published in 2002.
Chapter 9 Quotes

Perhaps one day someone from a distant land will listen to this story of mine. Isn't this what lies behind the desire to be inscribed in the pages of a book? Isn't it just for the sake of this delight that sultans and viziers proffer bags of gold to have their histories written? When I feel this delight, just like those beautiful women with one eye on the life within the book and one eye on the life outside, I, too, long to speak with you who are observing me from who knows which distant time and place. I'm an attractive and intelligent woman, and it pleases me that I'm being watched. And if I happen to tell a lie or two from time to time it's so you don't come to any false conclusions about me.

Related Characters: Shekure (speaker)
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
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Shekure Character Timeline in My Name is Red

The timeline below shows where the character Shekure appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...back” to Istanbul by death. Before he left, he’d fallen in love with his cousin, Shekure. While he was away, he performed administrative tasks in Persia, and over the years he... (full context)
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...a ship coming in. He listens to the sounds of the city and feels that Shekure’s face might “suddenly appear.” After evening prayers, Black goes into a coffeehouse, where a storyteller... (full context)
Chapter 5: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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Like all young men who visit Enishte’s house, Black fell in love with Shekure, Enishte’s daughter. Because Black refused to “bury” his love for Shekure, he was no longer... (full context)
Chapter 6: I Am Orhan
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Orhan goes into the room of Hayriye, the enslaved woman owned by Enishte, and finds Shekure sitting there. She questions Orhan insistently, asking what Black and Enishte were doing, and Orhan... (full context)
Chapter 7: I Am Called Black
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When Black sees Orhan’s face, he realizes that he has been remembering Shekure’s face wrongly. He thinks that if he had taken a portrait of Shekure painted in... (full context)
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...the happy time in his youth he spent painting in the house and being with Shekure. He describes painting and happiness as “the genesis of my world.” Even though Black’s love... (full context)
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...a pomegranate tree, and when he arrives a window opens to reveal the face of Shekure. Black cannot tell if she is smiling or sad, and the moment reminds him of... (full context)
Chapter 8: I Am Esther
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Esther says she knows the reader will be curious what Shekure wrote in the letter. It is now evening, and Esther is at home in the... (full context)
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...ways in which the letter reveals information that have nothing to do with the words Shekure wrote. The way the letter is sent to Black via Esther, the way it is... (full context)
Chapter 9: I, Shekure
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Shekure explains that she opened the window instinctively when Black rode past, and that his face... (full context)
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When Black gave her the picture, Shekure felt that she couldn’t love him like Shirin, and told Enishte about Black’s advances. Enishte... (full context)
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Shekure admits that she was sad to hear of Elegant’s disappearance, but she adds that Elegant... (full context)
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Shekure explains that Enishte “adores” her; she originally had three older brothers, but they all died.... (full context)
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Shekure would have gone back to Enishte’s house, but because her husband was still possibly alive... (full context)
Chapter 11: I Am Called Black
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The snow falls all night, and Black reads Shekure’s letter over and over again. He dreams that he and Shekure are happily in love... (full context)
Chapter 15: I Am Esther
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther observes that Black is clearly deeply in love, because when he speaks about Shekure he loses his self control. When she meets Black at the bazaar she assures him... (full context)
Chapter 16: I, Shekure
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Shekure admits that every time Esther leaves her house, she feels “confused” and “wretched.” Orhan comes... (full context)
Chapter 17: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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Enishte hears Shekure’s sobbing as he reads a passage from the Book of the Apocalypse, which states that... (full context)
Chapter 20: I Am Called Black
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Black suspects that Enishte knows about the letters he has exchanged with Shekure. Enishte sits him down and begins to tell him about a visit to Venice during... (full context)
Chapter 21: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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...horse, a dog, and a coin. Enishte considers telling Black he wants him to marry Shekure, knowing that they are planning to elope. After Friday prayers, the two discuss shadow, the... (full context)
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...by someone who was jealous of his wealth. As Enishte walks Black out, he notices Shekure standing in her white gown “looking like a ghost” and he asks her if she... (full context)
Chapter 22: I Am Called Black
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Black goes home and locks himself in his room, thinking about Shekure. Although she didn’t show herself that day at Enishte’s house, she made her presence felt,... (full context)
Chapter 23: I Will Be Called a Murderer
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...house and sees Black leaving; he realizes that Black will complete the book and marry Shekure, and that Elegant had been right and was thus killed for nothing. The murderer follows... (full context)
Chapter 25: I Am Esther
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...fabric into her bag to sell, Hayrire arrives at her door with a letter from Shekure. Esther orders Hayrire to go home and comments that Shekure is “out of her mind”... (full context)
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In the letter, Black assures Shekure that he will complete the book, but that he is suffering a block due to... (full context)
Chapter 26: I, Shekure
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When Hayrire returns with Esther, Shekure is spying on Black and Enishte. She worries that Black’s love for her will not... (full context)
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Shekure hears Black and Enishte discussing the European portrayal of facial expressions in the next room.... (full context)
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Shekure notes that dreams are powerful. In Portugal, where Esther comes from, the Jesuits would torture... (full context)
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Shekure tries on different outfits and closes the door softly as she leaves, “like a ghost.”... (full context)
Chapter 27: I Am Called Black
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Shekure yells at Black to stick his penis in the mouth of a prostitute and accuses... (full context)
Chapter 28: I Will Be Called a Murderer
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...let in. Enishte hears him and calls out, asking whether the sound is Hayrire or Shekure, and the murderer announces himself with his full name, followed by “your poor sinful servant.”... (full context)
Chapter 30: I, Shekure
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It is snowing hard as Shekure walks home from the House of the Hanged Jew. She believes that Black truly loves... (full context)
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Having locked the boys in their room, Shekure goes downstairs and tells Hayrire that Enishte is dead. Hayrire shrieks and insists on going... (full context)
Chapter 32: I, Shekure
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In the morning, Shekure writes a note to Black telling him to meet her at the house of the... (full context)
Chapter 33: I Am Called Black
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Shekure leaves, and Black feels both anxious and happy at the thought of their marriage. Black... (full context)
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...pleased that everything has gone well so far. Outside the house, Hayrire informs him that Shekure wants a wedding procession and that she has been cooking dishes for the reception. However,... (full context)
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Black goes back to Enishte’s house, where a small crowd has gathered. Shekure emerges, wearing a red bridal dress and pink streamers. As the procession begins, Black realizes... (full context)
Chapter 34: I, Shekure
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As the final guests leave, Shekure asks Orhan and Shevket to kiss Black’s hand. She tells them to respect Black and... (full context)
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Shekure thinks that if this had happened before she was married she would have taken “charge... (full context)
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...concedes that Enishte was murdered, but suggests that it was Hasan himself who did it. Shekure refuses to go with Hasan, and Hasan states that this leaves him no choice but... (full context)
Chapter 36: I Am Called Black
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After Shekure returns to the boys’ room, Black listens anxiously to the sounds of the house. He... (full context)
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...proximity to the Sultan, Black confesses everything to the Head Treasurer, from his marriage to Shekure to his difficulty in finishing the book. He also relates his suspicions about who might... (full context)
Chapter 39: I Am Esther
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...glass of water and mentions that there is a rumor that Enishte was dead before Shekure’s wedding. Shekure arrives and confesses that she is anxious that she made the wrong decision.... (full context)
Chapter 40: I Am Called Black
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...melancholy natures do not experience real joy or sadness, only constant turmoil. After Enishte’s funeral, Shekure bursts into tears and Black worries that if he begins to cry, too, it will... (full context)
Chapter 42: I Am Called Black
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...prevent blindness when he notices that the new piece of paper is a letter from Shekure accompanied by a painting. Osman takes the painting and hands the letter to Black. Shekure... (full context)
Chapter 48: I, Shekure
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Shekure has a frightening dream about Enishte; she wakes up, leaves the boys in bed, and... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Am Called Black
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...order to avoid this indignity. Black confesses that he wishes to spend eternity gazing at Shekure’s face. He goes on to look through more books, and thinks about the stylistic choices... (full context)
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...with excitement; now that the murderer’s identity is known, he will be able to share Shekure’s bed. However, when he gets back to Enishte’s house, he realizes no one is there,... (full context)
Chapter 53: I Am Esther
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...at Esther’s house and she tells him she will meet him outside. She explains that Shekure’s first husband is back and that they are at “their” house. She says that Hasan... (full context)
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...Black’s business. She enters Hasan’s house and announces that Black is waiting outside, before giving Shekure the note. Shekure manages to take Esther to one side and explains that she is... (full context)
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As the sounds of the attack echo through the house, Hasan’s father says that if Shekure wants to leave, she can go. The children cry, and Esther urges Shekure to put... (full context)
Chapter 57: I Am Called “Olive”
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...Black’s desire to capture the murderer is not only rooted in his willingness to please Shekure or avoid being tortured; he suspects that it is part of a larger scheme to... (full context)
Chapter 58: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
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...humiliated for his lack of skill compared to the European painters. He says he pities Shekure because she had to marry Black, and that if everything hadn’t happened the way it... (full context)
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...he could kill him right now, but will spare his life for the sake of Shekure’s happiness, and he makes Black promise to take care of her. However, the murderer then... (full context)
Chapter 59: I, Shekure
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Black has sent Shekure and the boys to a distant relative’s house to hide. In the midst of a... (full context)
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...26 years before dropping dead next to the well one day. In the intervening time, Shekure and the boys are happy, but Black remains melancholy for the rest of his life,... (full context)
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Shekure has always dreamed of two paintings: a portrait of herself, and “a picture of bliss,”... (full context)