World Literature Essay 4 05-02-12 Heroism A hero is someone who lives their life not to please others, but lives in such a fashion that they can die knowing that everything they said or did was based on what their heart desired. There are three characters in this sections reading that apply to this definition of a hero. From “A Thousand Splendid Suns” Mariam and Laila are both heroes and from “Hamlet,” and Hamlet is the third hero according to this definition of a hero. In the book “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” there are two characters that fit the role as hero in my eyes.
The first character from this story is Mariam. Mariam is an extremely hard workingwoman who as assumed her role in society. The role in this society that her and many others deal with day in and day out is shown in the text through the quote that follows; “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. ” No matter what Mariam does she is never going to be right. Yes Mariam follows these laws but she also stands up for what she believes in.
Meaning, when it comes down to something Mariam loves she will fight for it. In part 3 of this story Mariam encounters a situation where she either had to kill someone who was in the wrong or let someone she loved be murdered. After choosing to protect the one she loves and murders Rasheed she does the heroic thing and accepts the fact that she murdered someone and assumes the responsibility for her actions. When her best friend trys to persuade her to come with her, running away, Mariam responds with “For me it ends here. There’s nothing more I want.
Everything I’d ever wished for as a little girl you’ve already given me. You and your children have made me so very happy. It’s all right, Laila jo. This is all right. Don’t be sad. ” These words define the hero she is, she did what she believed in and she protected the ones she loved. The second character in this plot that shows personality traits of being a hero, as defined earlier is, Laila. Laila was just as much of a hero in this story as, her role model, Mariam was. Laila stood up for what she believed in this novel like no other.
Laila shows traits that I would also like to point out, she fights for what she believes in, she respects the ones she loves, but she does lie to protect herself, which is important to defining a hero. Hero’s can be precieved as this perfect human being with no flaws but no one can actually make it through an entire life without making mistakes. Being a hero means if you do mess up and do something out of the so-called ”heroic” parameters you fix the issue the way an honorable person would. This idea is shown through Laila in a portion of this novel vividly.
Laila has disrespected Mariam by marrying Rasheed to hide her pregnancy with Tariq, but one night when Laila refuses to have sex with Rasheed, events occur that show that Laila will risk her life to protect the one she cares about. This event is shown in the story through the following quote, “ Rasheed raised the belt again and came at Mariam. Then an astonishing thing happened: The girl lunged at him. She grabbed his arm with both hands and tried to drag him down... ” Another portion of this novel that Laila shows her heroistic traits is when Rasheed starts to beat Mariam.
The way that Laila reacts shows that someone she loves comes come before the limitations her society puts on her. When Rasheed starts to beat Mariam, Laila punches Rasheed so hard that he stumbles back a couple steps, but she hit him knowing that once she did, the attention would be brought from Mariam to Laila. This shows that Laila would rather take physical harm to protect someone she loves. The third and final character that represents someone who shows “Heroism” comes from the play “Hamlet. ” Hamlet is an extremely dynamic character and shows many heroistic traits.
In this play, Hamlet is faced with extremely hard situations to cope with. The play basically opens with him losing his father and his uncle marrying his mom. For a young boy to have to cope with this turn of events shows a great deal in its self. After Hamlet speaks with the ghost of his father, he is faced with the request of his father to avenge his death. After all that he is faced with Hamlet has to juggle the fact that his uncle murdered his father and his mother married him shortly there-after and his friends not being able to know about the real way his father died can take an extreme toll on his sanity.
After all this being said and took in consideration, Hamlet makes a mistake and kills Polonius thinking he was Claudius. At the duel between Hamlet and Laertes Hamlet says something that shows the meaning of a hero, “Hamlet agrees to fight, saying that “all’s ill here about my heart,” but that one must be ready for death, since it will come no matter what one does. ” This quote shows that no matter what happens in the proceeding moments Hamlet is doing something that his heart desires, and something he feels right. It doesn’t always have to be the right thing being done, but something makes you a hero to yourself.
Hamlet also displays traits showing the thought of a hero; when before the duel between him and Laertes he says, “Give me your pardon, sir: I’ve done wrong; But pardon’t as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, And you must needs have heard, how I am punished with sore distraction. What I have done, that might your nature, honor and exception roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. ” Hamlet showing his apologies and accepting what he did was wrong, and openly admitting to it in front of a crowd is representing his honor and gratitude.
In the novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and the play “Hamlet” the word “Hero” is defined in unbelievable fashion. These two pieces have made a clear understanding of this definition. No matter the issues or problems one may be going through if they are able to please themselves and do what they feel is the right thing to do, you can be your own hero. Hero is such a small word with a huge meaning behind it, and if someone can live by that definition they will partake in a wonderful life that no one will be able to fault.