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A Hero, The Gods, And Mortal Men

1197 words - 5 pages

Clack. Bang. Swish. The sweet sound of armor spears, flying arrows, and slicing swords are nothing more than the sounds of a hero pursuing a quest to greatness. Throughout history people long to find that inner-being who becomes enlightened with knowledge to acquire an everlasting existence. For one to search for everlasting life and conquer beast may merely be just a rhythm of life that has forever held to the test of time. For any man and every man can relate to a god, but the human mortality of temporary existence comes bleeding through at some point in time. Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Odysseus all portrayed having god like qualities, yet their human mortality lead them to be remembered as heroes to their cultures and civilizations.
Gilgamesh is a strong, powerful, arrogant leader that is two-thirds god and one part human. Gilgamesh was truly a hero by showing his skill in battle, intelligence, valor, reverence, and yet he held a respect for death. On his quest to finding the plant that contained the components for a mortal man to acquire everlasting life, the protagonist overcame obstacles and complications. Gilgamesh slay the demon monster, keeper of the forest, Humbaba and showed his impressive fighting skill. The man that was more than half of a god showed his arrogance by refusing the goddess Ishtar’s love. Gilgamesh walked past giant scorpions and rowed his way through a sea that consumed anything that touched its surface. Throughout the epic of Gilgamesh, the story is rash, violent, and impetuous; however, it not until he finally acquires wisdom that he earns the respect and devotion of his people. The lines within the oldest text amongst men proclaimed what he had learned was when the epic states that “he looked at the walls, awed at the heights his people had achieved and for a moment – just a moment – all that lay behind him passed from view.” In the conclusion of the epic, Gilgamesh untimely learned the same as the gods: that it is better to save and preserve life than to destroy it, and it was at this time that Gilgamesh seemed to realize that wisdom is even more of a characteristic of divinity than having eternal life.
Throughout life a man makes many decisions, which determine the way his life will be lived, and the way it will end. All choices a man makes in his life have consequences and each man must account for them. In the story of Beowulf, Beowulf is a god-like human who possesses a strength and warrior spirit unmatched by anyone. The choices he has made resulted in this power and it is also those same choices that play a part in his end. Beowulf holds the identity of being superhuman, who has a noble birth and shows great bravery in all endeavors, he displays a great deal of intelligence and resourcefulness, yet has a reverence for God and the values of their society. In Beowulf’s youth, he was characterized predominantly by his feats of strength and courage, including his fabled swimming match against Breca. He was known...

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