Odysseus Vs Gilgamesh
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Mata 1Diana Mata World Literature INannette CraneJune 18, 2017Epic HeroesThe epic poems The Odyssey, written by Homer, and Gilgamesh, translated by David Ferry, feature the struggles and achievements of two epic heroes. The Gilgamesh epic was developed from early Mesopotamia. Odyssey is associated with early Greece. Gilgamesh played a huge role in developing the Mesopotamian culture, attitudes and behaviors towards gods. Odyssey was set at a time when Gods were at the center of the Greek culture. Both men were given certain types of strengths, Gilgamesh physical strength, while Odysseus had mental strength. They are superhuman, but they are not supernatural, although they come in contact with the supernatural. During their time of being kings, both experience hardship and made mistakes. However, through their mistakes they seemed to find themselves through life lessons. The two characters have similar lives and characteristics as well as differences.  Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, was a hero who yearns to return home to his loved ones after being gone for ten years after fighting in the Trojan War. Odysseus is noble, courageous, and is especially known for his sharp intellect. Odysseus conquered many obstacles throughout his journey. He overcomes Calypso’s offer of immortality, which is a hard offer to turn down. Odysseus becomes trapped and cleverly tricks and blinds the Cyclops Polyphemus; which results in saving his men from death. He bravely travels to Hades to learn his fate. Upon reaching Ithaca, Odysseus takes on all of Penelope’s suitors, defeating them to reclaim his rightful place. His fatal flaw is his pride. When he blinds the Cyclops, his prideful trait cannot resist telling the Cyclops his name. The cyclops had an advantage and prayed that Poseidon would destroy Odysseus for blinding him. This caused Odysseus to have a more difficult journey while trying to get home.

Among men, Gilgamesh was seen as one of the greatest. His strength was superhuman. All the people in Uruk feared Gilgamesh for “there is no withstanding the aura or power of the Wild Ox Gilgamesh” (31-32).  He was an ambitious builder, and extremely proud. He was called “the wise shepherd and protector of the people”. This trait often got in his way when it came to making decisions. He took the men from his kingdom to fight long, weary battles. He also took children from their families to work for him. He was a very immature and selfish person. He was also a womanizer. When Enkidu died, Gilgamesh best friend, he became fearful for his own mortality. This fear caused him to abandon his wealth and glory and he began to search for the secret to eternal life. Gilgamesh went on a journey for a selfish reason. He went to save himself from mortality. He left his glorious life and all of his wealth behind. On his adventure he steals trees from a forbidden cedar forest, defeats the forest demon Humbaba, challenges the gods, kills the Bull of Heaven. After their victories the gods decree that Enkidu must die; he dies at the will of the gods. This deeply hurt Gilgamesh, but he ventured on his journey to find immortality. All his journeys involved a way to overcome the gods and become immortal. He finally found his cure of becoming immortal, but that chance is stolen from him. Gilgamesh pushes through this disappointment and travels back home. From this long journey he returns home a more mature person and sees the beauty of mortal life.  These trials make him a better king.

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Cyclops Polyphemus And 2017Epic Heroesthe Epic Poems. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/cyclops-polyphemus-and-2017epic-heroesthe-epic-poems-essay/