Reference Sheet

Allegory: Long story with underlying moral meaning different from surface meaning, extended metaphor. Alliteration: Repetition of initial speech sounds of words. Allusion: An indirect or passing reference. Anecdote: Short, amusing/interesting story about a real incident or person. Irony: Expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite. Metaphor: A comparison without the use of like or as. Oxymoron: Figure of speech that poses elements that appear to be contradictory. Personification: Representing a non-human thing as if it were human. Hyperbole: An extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally Imagery:The formation of a mental image

Othello: The play’s protagonist and hero highly respected general. Desdemona: The daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Desdemona and Othello are secretly married before the play begins. While in some ways stereotypically pure, determined and self-possessed. Iago: Othello’s guard military veteran from Venice. Iago is the villain of the play. Although he is obsessive, relentless, bold, and ingenious in his efforts to manipulate and deceive the other characters: Othello. Iago’s motivations are notoriously dark. jealous because he heard a rumor that Othello has slept with Iago’s wife. He hates women and is obsessed with other people’s sex lives. Cassio: Othello’s lieutenant, or second-in-command. Cassio is highly educated but young and inexperienced in battle. Iago resents Cassio’s high position and dismisses him as a bookkeeper. Truly devoted to Othello, Cassio is ashamed after being implicated in a drunken brawl on Cyprus and losing his place as lieutenant. Iago uses Cassio’s youth, good looks, and flirtatious manner with women to play on Othello’s insecurities about Desdemona’s fidelity. Emilia: Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. A cynical, worldly woman, Emilia is deeply attached to her mistress and distrustful of her husband. Roderigo: jealous admirer of Desdemona. Young, rich, and foolish, Roderigo is convinced that if he gives Iago all of his money, Iago will help him win Desdemona’s hand. Repeatedly frustrated as Othello married Desdemona and then takes her to Cyprus, Roderigo is ultimately desperate enough to agree to help Iago to kill Cassio after Iago points out that Cassio is another potential rival for Desdemona. Bianca: A courtesan, or prostitute, in Cyprus. Bianca’s favorite customer is Cassio, who teases her with promises of marriage but laughs at her behind her back. Brabantio: Desdemona’s father, a somewhat blustering and self-important Venetian senator. As a friend of Othello, Brabantio feels betrayed when the general marries his daughter in secret. Lodovico: One of Brabantio’s kinsmen, Lodovico acts as a messenger from Venice to Cyprus. He arrives in Cyprus in Act Four with letters announcing that Cassio is to replace Othello as governor. Graziano: Brabantio’s kinsman who accompanies Lodovico to Cyprus. Amidst the chaos of the play’s final scene, Graziano mentions that Desdemona’s father has died. Amir: Main Character, He lives in Kabul, Afghanistan at his father’s house. Baba: Amir & Hassan father. Wealthy businessman. Hassan: Amir’s best friend. He is a Hazara and works as a servant with his father in Amir’s home. Ali: Raised Hassan thinking he was his son and best friend of Baba since they were young boys. Rahim Khan: Baba’s business partner. Acts like a second fatherly figure to Amir. Soraya: Amir’s wife.Assef: Childhood bully of Amir and Hassan. Rapes Hassan. Becomes a Taliban general later in life. Sohrab: Hassan’s son. Betrayal and Redemption:  Betrayal, which can be considered a form of sin, is enduring and ends up being cyclical in The Kite Runner. For most of the novel, Amir attempts to deal with his guilt by avoiding it. But doing this clearly does nothing toward redeeming himself, and thus his guilt endures.  Forgiveness:  Ideas about forgiveness permeate The Kite Runner. Hassan’s actions demonstrate that he forgives Amir’s betrayal, although Amir needs to spend practically the entire novel to learn about the nature of forgiveness. Baba’s treatment of Hassan is his attempt at gaining public forgiveness for what he has not even publicly admitted to have done. Love: Every relationship in The Kite Runner is strained at one point or another, thus providing multiple examples of the complexity of various types of love. Hassan’s love for Amir is selfless, while Amir’s for Hassan is mostly selfish. The two relationships thus demonstrate — albeit unknowingly to the characters — the nature of brotherly love, a love that includes jealousy and insecurity.