The Kite Runner And Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Parent-child Relationships in Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Shakespeare’s Hamlet

In both texts, Hamlet and The Kite Runner, Hamlet and Amir, each have a relationship with their father, that plays a huge role in their lives. They idolize their fathers and strive to attain their approval; no matter the consequences. Furthermore, their fathers’ past actions and conflicts heavily influence their fates and their identities dramatically.
In, The Kite Runner, Amir places his father on such a high pedestal and continues to vie for his attention and approval throughout his life. He describes his father as a “force of nature” (Hosseini, 13) and is very proud of his father’s accomplishments, as when his father is giving his opening speech at the orphanage
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He genuinely cares for his father as when his father dies, he says, “I have that within which passeth show,/These but the trappings and the suits of woe” (i.ii.85-86). He also compares his father to the god “Hyperion”, emphasizing his father’s superiority and says he is “so excellent a king”(i.ii.139). Furthermore, he also says, “My father’s brother, but no more like my father/Than I to Hercules” (i.ii.153-154). He is alluding to the fact that his father is strong, moral, righteous and suggests that his father is a hero or like a demi-god. He argues that his father is better than Claudius in every shape or form, even in the way he treats Gertrude, as he says, he was “so loving to my mother/That he might not beteem the winds of heaven/Visit her face too roughly” (i.ii140-142). Therefore, when his father’s ghost returns and commands him to take revenge on his father’s murderor, he is eager to take on the task. Yet, through his journey towards avenging his father’s death, he continually hesitates and doubts himself, as he tries to find the right moment to take action, in order to ensure he fulfills his father’s wishes to the best of his ability. He scolds himself and wishes he could be like Fortinbras or the actors in the play who are able to act more rashly and express their emotions. He says, “Am I coward?...Why, what an ass am I! …show more content…
When his father dies, this clearly takes an emotional toll on Hamlet, and his perspective on life changes dramatically, as does his identity. He says, “Oh, that this too sullied flesh would melt,/… Or that the Everlasting had not fixed/His canon ‘gainst sef-slaughter”(i.ii.129-132)! He contemplates suicide, death and the value of his life. He loses his desire to live and says, “I do not set my life in a pin’s fee” (i.iv.68). He seems to also have lost all faith in humanity in general, as while he contemplates, “what a piece of work is a man!” (ii.ii.299), he says, humans are nothing but dust. He also advises Ophelia to go to a nunnery, so that she may not give birth to a “sinner.” Furthermore, his view of his mother also changes, as he shares the pain of her betrayal of his father and a strain in their relationship develops, as his loyalties continue to lie with his father. Yet, he continues to respect her, as his father commands him to leave her to God. His mother’s betrayal of his father also causes him to develop misogynistic views towards the women around him, as he says, “frailty thy name is a woman” (i.ii.146)! He suggests that a woman’s love is fickle and that they seduce men with their flirtatious tricks. Ophelia is not exempt from his harsh views either, as he berates her and tells her to marry a fool, so that he will not

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