Heroes In The Epic Of Gilgamesh, The Ballad Of Mulan, And The Film Saving Private Ryan

3093 words - 12 pages

Heroes are goals for our own aspirations. Humanity is assembled around the necessity for role models and the transference down of information, this is how we learn. A hero is defined as someone with admirable traits or people who, in the face of danger or from a position of weakness, display courage or the will for self-sacrifice, whether it be moral in a literal or figurative approach. These notions of heroism are portrayed directly through the collection of relating texts, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ and ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ and the film ‘Saving Private Ryan.’
A hero can be anyone. The modern day hero does not need physical strength or have super human powers, nor do they need to be of royal decent or obtain a high-flying place in the government. Bernard Malamud explains, “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know how far we can go,” suggesting that heroes are simply role-models we use to learn from. The first introduction to the concept of the Heroes Journey was through Joseph Campbell. In his book ‘A Hero with a Thousand Faces,’ he brings to light the idea of studying the human impulse to create stories that draw on universal themes which is highlighted in his theory of the Heroes Journey. He explains, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” which demonstrates the idea of portraying a hero as someone who gives without the need for repayment. Similarly the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, talks about heroes in his essay ‘A Study in the Process of Individuation,’ through his concept of introversion and extraversion. According to him, archetypes are distinctive universal psychic temperaments, which form the substrate from which the basic themes of human life arise.
The ancient text, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ is one of the earliest surviving works of literature. I consider this society of approximately 2700 BC to have created a hero like Gilgamesh firstly because of their fixation on having a masculine hero. Up until very recently, society had itself built around worshipping a male hero simply because of their physical power. It has never had a great deal of respect for females. This idea is strongly explored throughout ‘The Ballad of Mulan,’ which focuses on a heroine. A further explanation of why this society modelled a hero such as Gilgamesh was on account of their considerably altered ‘definition’ of a hero. They used the word ‘hero’ for a measure of physical strengths, courageous or brave deeds, or to describe royalty. Therefore, by the end of the ‘Heroic Epic,’ the character Gilgamesh represents is their idea of the perfect archetypal hero. In saying this, the character of Gilgamesh was not totally mythical. He was an actual historical figure who reigned over the Sumerian city of Uruk, which he is said to have erected, but it was not until long after his death that he was truly worshipped, suggesting that his character may have been altered to fit the ‘Heroic Quest.’ The...

Find Another Essay On Heroes in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Ballad of Mulan, and the Film Saving Private Ryan

Comparing The Media Techniques Used to Present the D-Day Landings in the Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan

2062 words - 8 pages kind of image. The Longest Day is much slower and the editing is quite measured. It alternates between a sweep of large-scale action and individual episodes. As the editing is quite slow, it allows us to follow the narrative quite easily, which adds to the epic feel of the film. In Saving Private Ryan the images are sharper and the lighting is much more sombre. Blue and red dominate the film, especially the red as it

Comparing The Longest Day Directed by Andrew Martin and Saving Private Ryan Directed by Steven Spielberg

1138 words - 5 pages Comparing The Longest Day Directed by Andrew Martin and Saving Private Ryan Directed by Steven Spielberg These two directors were trying to achieve different goals, 'The Longest Day' was made post-war in 1962 and when the war may still of been in peoples thoughts and where many of the people who fought in the war would still be alive. However 'Saving Private Ryan' was made much later on in 1999, by then the world has gladly

Epic Heroes: Gilgamesh and Achilles

1138 words - 5 pages From the days of ancient Greece and before, epic heroes have had their lives chronicled and their stories passed on from generation to generation all the way to present day. Two of the greatest heroes have been Gilgamesh from the epic named after him and Achilles from Homer's Iliad. While the two men's stories transpired in vastly different eras, their lives shared a surprising number of commonalities. Of course, with resemblances come

Saving Private Ryan

1063 words - 4 pages Saving Private Ryan In his review of the film “Saving Private Ryan”, N.Cull claims that the film presents… “a realistic depiction of the lives and deaths of G.I’s in the European theatre in World War II”. Do you agree with his assessment of the film? Argue your case. N.Cull’s assessment of the film Saving Private Ryan in that it portrays “a realistic depiction of the lives and deaths of G.I’s in the European theatre in World War II” is an

Saving Private Ryan

1111 words - 4 pages Saving Private Ryan - Historical ReviewThe 1998 Hollywood film Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg, may be a fictional film, however the events therein and storyline are based on actual historical events. Historical events are evident from the onset of the movie. The movie begins with the portrayal of the June 6, 1944 Omaha Beach invasion by American Forces. It is at this early stage in the movie that the realism and horrors of war

Saving Private Ryan

949 words - 4 pages rolled into one film. All of my subjects, including the internet critics, feel that Saving Private Ryan will receive many awards, and that it is a credit to Steven Spielberg as a director. When asked if they would recommend the film to another each of my interviewees responded positively. One widely talked about part of this film is the huge degree of violence. In this case however, contrary to the usual attitudes, the violence is not described

"Saving Private Ryan" Essay

864 words - 3 pages Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of "Saving Private Ryan" both shocking and realistic and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film."Saving Private Ryan" is a film set in the genre of war and directed by Steven Spielberg, it was made in September, 1998. the film is set in set in June 1944, intended to reflect the chaos and horror of Second World War. Steven Spielberg directed the film and gained 5

Saving Private Ryan

694 words - 3 pages resources." It is difficult to be called to rescue someone, to go beyond our comfort zone, and to do that which seems irrational in order to save that which is lost.This is one movie that should not be negatively reviewed because of the degree of violence. Saving Private Ryan is about a horrible war, that took place because of a madman's craziness, and this war was an ugly thing that happened very much like this movie portrayed it. The continuous

Saving Private Ryan Summary

834 words - 3 pages As the name implies, the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is about saving Private Ryan, however there is much more here than just a simple rescue story. The movie begins in present day times with an old man, followed by his family, walking through a cemetery in Normandy. He stops at one grave and falls to his knees, crying. The camera zooms to a close-up of his eyes and the viewer is transported 45 years in the past. The scene is D-Day, just prior to

Saving Private Ryan

707 words - 3 pages the next platoon doesn't die because of it. While trying to do this their doctor gets hit and dies. One of the Germans is still alive so they make him dig a grave for the doctor. After he's done they were going to kill him but the translator said its not right he's a prisoner of war they should let him go find the next group and turn him self in so they do. Then they find private Ryan and tell him and he doesn't want to go home. He wants to

The Media Techniques Used to Produce D-day Landing on the Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day

1967 words - 8 pages factual storyline, their standards of filming and production were different due to the time they were filmed. Darryl F. Zannuk filmed "The Longest day" in 1962 and Steven Spielberg filmed "Saving Private Ryan" in 1998. Zannuk created the film only after 18 years after the Second World War and the international affairs were still at its worst due to the cold war crisis. Therefore the brutality and the accuracy of the fighting

Similar Essays

Analysis Of The Opening Battle Sequence In The Film Saving Private Ryan

937 words - 4 pages Wartime adventure film, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was first released in 1998 by ‘Paramount’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Pictures. It internationally achieved a long lasting effect as it became the winner of five academy awards and five Oscars; the film won these awards because the first 24minuites captured people’s imagination and interest. It tells the story of a squad of American soldiers led by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) on a dangerous mission to find

Analysis Of The Methods Used To Make The Opening Battle Sequence Of Saving Private Ryan Shocking And Realistic

1943 words - 8 pages Analysis of the Methods Used to Make the Opening Battle Sequence of Saving Private Ryan Shocking and Realistic Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielburg and was first released on the 11th September 1998. The film runs for a total of two hours and fifty minutes and it won five Academy Awards including one for the Best Director in 1999. Steven Spielburg has directed many award winning films such as Jaws in 1975

Analysis Of The Methods Used To Make The Opening Battle Sequence Of Saving Private Ryan Shocking And Realistic

2731 words - 11 pages Analysis of the Methods Used to Make the Opening Battle Sequence of Saving Private Ryan Shocking and Realistic The Oscar winning wartime epic, Saving Private Ryan, produced by Steven Spielberg was set in 1998, with an opening half hour sequence that was shattering in its realism and ruthless in

Saving Private Ryan "A Glimpse Of War"

777 words - 3 pages Nathan BehrmannHistory 102Movie ReviewA Glimpse of WarFor my Movie review I choose Saving Private Ryan. This movie gives a truthful and sometimes shocking look into the life of soldiers during WWII or any war for that matter. It follows a group of battle hardened soldiers on a mission to bring home the last of 4 brothers who went to war. Along with providing an in depth look at the individual lives of the soldiers it also gives an excellent view