Topics: Hero, Meaning of life, A Thousand Splendid Suns Pages: 5 (1455 words) Published: May 19, 2014

Explore the theme of gallantry and honor (think heroism) as evidenced in any of the characters from Hamlet and A Thousand Splendid Suns. You may also explore this theme in earlier readings in order to compare or contrast. The only essential goals for your character choices are to use at least one character from Hamlet and one character from ATTS and to use a minimum of three characters.  How does this theme connect with the concept of “The Literary Hero: A Quest for Bravery”? You need to use QUOTATIONS from both of the work to solidify your ideas. Try to avoid the obvious. Saying that Rasheed is not a hero is probably unnecessary.  You will need to use ample quotations from both Hamlet and A Thousand Splendid Suns to support your proposals as to which characters possess honor (serve as heroic characters) and which do not satisfy this role. You need to explore your own definition of honor and hero based on your belief system-great idea for introduction! Please do not use a dictionary definition of hero or heroism. 

World Literature
When kids often think of the word “Hero”, they immediately think of all the comic books they have read. They think that in order to be a proclaimed hero, they must have some crazy supernatural ability for the most part. Of course, it follows with the certain individual saving thousands of lives from a villain. However, when the child grows older, their minds begin to change and realize what a true hero is. This is accompanied with their loss of innocence. All the sudden they realize a hero doesn’t have to have some crazy ability, and most of the time, they declare their mom or dad to be a hero in their eyes. There are many definitions of a hero; in fact, it is more of an opinion. Every person decides for their self if a certain action, to them, is heroic or not. To me, a heroic person is one who will sacrifice their life for someone’s they might not even know no matter what the situation may be.

In Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam demonstrates the qualities that make up a true heroin. Throughout her lifetime, she goes through a lot of difficult situations, with one main being her family. In the beginning of the novel Mariam runs away to go see her father only to be rejected by him and return home to her mother hanging from a tree. “All she could hear was Nana saying, ‘I’ll die if you go. I’ll just die.’ All she could do was cry and cry and let her tears falls on the spotted, paper-thin skin of Mullah Faizullah’s hands” (Hosseini 38). Mariam kept blaming herself for this but eventually she toughened up and overcame it. When she was married to Rasheed and he took Laila as a second wife, Mariam once again overcame a difficult situation, this time proving her self. “Rasheed didn’t notice her coming back into the room. He was still on top of Laila, his eyes wide and crazy, his hands wrapped around her neck. Laila’s face was turning blue now, and her eyes had rolled back. Mariam saw that she was no longer struggling. He’s going to kill her, she thought. He really means to. And Mariam could not, would not, allow that to happen.” (Hosseini 348) Mariam then proceeded to take a shovel and kill Rasheed to protect Laila. When everything settled down Mariam came up with a plan to protect Laila, Tariq, Aziza, and Zalmai. She told them to run and she would stay behind to be caught. She knew that if they all got caught, Laila’s children would suffer and she didn’t want them to live a life on the run. So Mariam took the blame in order for them to live a life as a family, and ultimately sacrificed her life for them.

In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the main character himself, named after the play, is Hamlet. In my opinion he shows signs of heroism. At the beginning of the play the ghost of Hamlet’s father comes to him and tells him that he was murdered by his brother Claudius. The ghost says, “I am thy fathers spirit; doomed for a certain term to walk the night, and for the day...

Cited: The Norton Anthology. World Masterpieces. Expanded edition in one volume. Mack.
Bierhorst. Clinton. Danly.
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007. Print.
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