The Kite Runner and King Lear Comparative Essay

Topics: Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Riverhead Books Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: September 10, 2012
The Kite Runner and King Lear Comparative Essay
Families play a large role in our world. Sometimes families keep you together but at other times they can tear you apart. The subject of family is a major theme in Khaled Hosseini's extraordinary novel, The Kite Runner and Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy, King Lear. In both of these writings, family is a constant theme that occurs throughout both works of literature. Family relationship is often expressed through the actions of the characters and by what they say. Although Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy, King Lear, has father figures, they do not act very fatherly. Khaled Hosseini’s fiction novel, The Kite Runner has better father figures. This can be proven by examining the different themes, how fathers from both works show compassion, acceptance and power. Even though King Lear has characters that are absolutely pitiless, a few characters still show sympathy towards others' suffering. The human capacity to feel for others survives even in the most desperate of moments. Yet what we see in King Lear is that compassion is usually based on some sort of obligation – such as loyalty or family ties. Interestingly, these loyalties and ties are the same causes of the extensive treachery displayed in King Lear. Although Lear goes mad, he still feels pity for the fool. “Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart That's sorry yet for thee” (Shakespeare, III.ii.72). While Lear feels for the fool and the homeless people, he still never feels for his blood-family which shows one that he is not compassionate for his loved ones. When Lear gives his power and authority to his wicked daughters, he later realizes he did not do anything to help the homeless people when he was the King “Poor naked wretches, where so’er you are, That bid the petting of this pitiless storm” (Shakespeare, III.iv.28-29). Lear realizes his mistakes after his power and authority is taken from him. On the other hand, The Kite Runner has...
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