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Coming Forward

In: Business and Management

Submitted By matasatori
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Assignment : “Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh & Odysseus”

Maya Wilson
World Cultures
Alicia Plant
March 1, 2016

Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh & Odysseus Although myths are believed to be completely fictional, the information that it encompasses often tells us about the type of personalities and beliefs of the people who lived during that era. Some may be imagination, but some of it still are very much a part of today's reality. A prime example of this is the two epic stories of Gilgamesh and Odyssey. They're two kings from two completely different eras, but the premise is almost entirely the same only because they both wanted to know the meaning of life. Gilgamesh was the ruler of Uruk around 2700 B.C., but he was not for his people in any way. In fact, he was a cruel king who killed his followers sons and raped their daughters. So as a solution the goddess Aruru creates a monster who ultimately ends up being Gilgamesh's ally and friend but also contributed to a change in his behavior. The two set off on an array of adventures that consisted of slaying lots of monsters who often served the great purpose but were killed for sport. The last monster that was slain resulted in the gods being angered in such a way that Gilgamesh's friend Enkidu was struck with an illness that he eventually died from. This so hurt Gilgamesh that he set out on a personal quest to find immortality but fails. The premise is almost the same for Odysseus. He was just as cruel of a ruler as Gilgamesh but he is considered a little more intelligent as well as cunning. Such traits helped He dominated the city of Troy and escaped being captured. However; this task did not go as easily planned. He fought various monsters on his way home but with every defeat, he became a little more arrogant and prideful. Perhaps if he were slightly more humble, it would not have taken him seven years to get back home. The monsters in Gilgamesh were standalone characters, but this was not the case in the Odysseus. The monsters in this epic adventure were extensions of the Gods which they used to do their biddings whether right or bad. If the Gods had an issue with a mortal man, they would send the monsters in their place to handle the situation on their behalf. So with every death of a monster, we find ourselves shouting with joy because evil was being defeated. This is not the case in the story of Gilgamesh. The monsters that were slain in that story were often gated keepers or some other source of protection. They ultimately did not have to be killed but were simply because Gilgamesh and his friend found it a personal sport of some sort to do so. Which is why they were punished for their behaviors. Overall both of these stories taught us a lot about the day and time that they were written in along with what people believed about them. The characters are similar but different in the same way. It teaches us a lot about arrogance and how these things don't work in your favor regardless of if it is in real life or a mythical story.

Work Cited:
“Odysseus.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 1997. Encyclopedia Mythica Online. Accessed 6 Jun. 2004

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