According to the account, she refused to obey the King's request that she "show off her beauty" (which is interpreted to "appear naked" or, "dance") in the banquet hall of the palace of "Shushan" (Susa), leading to concerns that, if unpunished, her actions would inspire other wives to disobey their husbands, and ultimately to the decision that she must not remain Queen. (Although the Book of Esther only states that she ceased to be Queen, and was replaced, Jews believe that she was executed , while Biblical text states that Queen Vashti was never again to come before the King. Her refusal to obey her husband has helped to secure her stature as a folk hero of the modern feminist movement as well as a villain because of her disrespect for her husband.
Jacob Hoschander (The Book of Esther in the Light of History, Oxford University Press, 1923) identifies Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes II and Vashti with a wife named Stateira.
The meaning of the name Vashti is uncertain. If, as seems most likely, the name is indeed a genuine Persian name, it may be understood to be from (unattested) Old Persian *vaištī, related to the superlative adjective vahišta- "best, excellent" found in the Avesta, with the feminine termination -ī; hence "excellent woman, best of women".
Hitchcock' Bible Names Dictionary of the 19th century, attempting to interpret the name as Hebrew, suggested the meanings "that drinks" or "thread". Critics of the historicity of the book of Esther proposed that the name may have originated from a conjectured Elamite goddess whom they called "Mashti", a theoretical reconstructed name which remains unattested in any source.
Vashti is one of a very few proper names in the Tanakh that begins with the letter waw, and by far the most prominently mentioned of them. Hebrew names that begin with waw are rare because of the etymological tendency for word-initial waw to become yodh (e.g. Hebrew יין yáyin "wine" < Proto-Semitic *wayn). Hoschander proposed that it originated as a shortening of an unattested vashtateira which he proposed as the origin of the name "Stateira".
Vashti's Victory: How a Valiant Illinois Woman and Her Family Won the First Supreme Court Verdict on Religion and Public Schools Fifty Years Ago
Apr 01, 1998; Light-hearted pranks are common on Halloween, but in 1945 the annual spooky celebration took a sinister turn in Champaign, Ill.,...