This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What Is Means To Be Human? Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh With The Odyssey

1233 words - 5 pages

What it means to be human"The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege (Charles Kuralt.)" The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving work of literature in the world with the story dating back over three thousand years ago. Most versions read today are from circa 1200 BCE which is around 400 years older than Homers "The Odyssey." Even though these epics were written so far apart, they tell the stories of two men finding out what means the most to them in life. With Gods interfering, temptresses, and giant monsters attacking them, they journey through their quests transforming into different people from whence they first began. In the end though, they realize they just want to be loved and be with the ones who understand them most which is what everyone ultimately wants out of life.When comparing the two epic heroes, it becomes apparent that Homer had to have been influenced by The Epic of Gilgamesh before creating The Odyssey because of how similar the heroes and plot summaries are. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero Gilgamesh is quoted as "two-thirds of him was divine, one-third of him was human (1.50)," "wise in all things (1.04)," "perfect in strength (1.36)," and "he was perfection in height, Ideally handsome(1.53-54)." Gilgamesh was the strongest and most handsome man in the world, King of Uruk with goddesses throwing themselves at him, could best any man or obstacles thrown his way. Odysseus is like Gilgamesh in that he is said to be an "Ithacan hero (2.269)", "Godlike Odysseus (2.282)", "a man who made sure of his words and deeds (2.295-296)," and a great warrior who had goddesses wanting him for themselves, but unlike Gilgamesh, Odysseus was very clever and a "dear friend (4.177)." The Odyssey states that "No man could match Odysseus for cunning... master of all strategies (3.132)," that he was "a wise leader with a flexible mind (3.180)," and that "knows every trick there is (1.221)." However, Odysseus has a wife and son who he longs to be with again and the goddess Athena watching over him, while Gilgamesh longs for a companion to spend his time with since he only has his mother watching over him.In each text, the heroes face off against uncivilized monsters, lose people who are close to their hearts, have influential women in their life, and journey to the end of the world for advice. Through each experience, both heroes grow and learn from their actions, transforming them into different people from who they originally started out as. Gilgamesh is described as a ruthless ruler from the start."Gilgamesh would leave no son to his father, day and night he would rampage fiercely. This was the shepherd of ramparted Uruk, this was the people's shepherd, bold, superb, accomplished, and mature! Gilgamesh would leave no girl to her mother! The warrior's daughter, the young man's spouse (1.60-.66)."It is only after losing his best friend Enkidu and traveling to the edges of earth in search...

Find Another Essay On What is Means to be Human? Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh with the Odyssey

Comparing Texts of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Get in Debt and Nineteen-Eighty Four with Teenage Culture in Today's society

977 words - 4 pages others will think of her (Medearis 31). In the same way, youth in North America are under the influence of peer pressure because they want to be accepted by their group and maintain a lasting relationship with their friends. Moreover, “The Epic of Gilgamesh” illustrates the value of relationships as well. After Endiku’s death, Gilgamesh laments for “7 days and nights” because he treasures the unique bond he and Endiku

Spiritual Growth in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, and Dante's Inferno

2026 words - 8 pages For centuries, authors have been writing stories about man's journey of self-discovery. Spanning almost three-thousand years, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, and Dante's Inferno are three stories where a journey of self-discovery is central to the plot. The main characters, Gilgamesh, Telemachus, and Dante, respectively, find themselves making a journey that ultimately changes them for the better. The journeys may not be

"The Epic of Gilgamesh" and Homer's "Odyssey". For both texts, comparison of the the cultural value,"heroism"

912 words - 4 pages In this essay I am going to deal with the two epic texts called: "The Epic of Gilgamesh" and Homer's "Odyssey". For both texts, I will discuss the cultural value of "heroism"In order to make a good analysis of both texts we have to know what "Epic" means. Webster's defines it as "a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style" (Webster's Universal College

Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh Flood Myth and Book of Genesis Biblical Flood Myth

1846 words - 7 pages Comparing the Gilgamesh and Genesis Floods       The rendition of the historic, worldwide Flood recorded in Genesis of the Old Testament is similar to the account recorded on Tablet 11of the Sumero-Babylonian version of the epic of Gilgamesh, discovered in the 1800’s by British archaeologists in Assyria. Let us compare the two in this essay.   Alexander Heidel in his book, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, provides a

Athanasia: Human Impermanence and the Journey for Eternal Life in the Epic of Gilgamesh

1030 words - 5 pages , Gilgamesh leaves Uruk and begins a quest for Utnapishtim, the mortal man who withstood the big deluge and was granted immortality by the gods (Freeman 36). Throughout the epic, readers are able to readily postulate that Enkidu is an indispensable piece of Gilgamesh’s being. Enkidu assumes the role of being the complete opposite of Gilgamesh, in a way he becomes an antagonist. Once Enkidu’s life came to an end, Gilgamesh is struck with unbearable

Athanasia: Human Impermanence and the Journey for Eternal Life in the Epic of Gilgamesh

2820 words - 11 pages searching for a lost, wild aspect to human character and origins (Barron 377). Conversely, the fondness for desertion gives credence to the epic excursion that Gilgamesh embarks; a journey for immortality. Gilgamesh desires to escape death, as a result, he embarks on a quest. “Why should we start and fear to die? What timorous worms we mortals are! Death is the gate of endless joy, and yet we dread to enter there.” ("The Baptist hymnal for use in

Exploring Human Nature in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Samuel I

1306 words - 5 pages acquiring mass amounts of power in which to rule over other humans, ensuring a ruler’s survival. We fear what we know is inevitable, so we use the threats of power, including that of ‘higher powers’, to frighten people into believing that they shall face a terrible consequence if they threaten the survival of another. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of Samuel I illustrate the corruption that results from using the threat of power, be it human or

The Epic of Gilgamesh

1142 words - 5 pages in that effort turns to others for it. In clear contrast the first and second halves of this epic convey the universal truth that happiness, meaning and purpose to ones life are found internally, not externally. But we must not forget that the story of Gilgamesh is a common one. How often does man look externally for happiness when it is best found within? Meaning in life more often comes from what one has done with that life, and how that life

The epic of Gilgamesh

1571 words - 6 pages Utnapitshtim and then voyages with Urshanabi across the sea of death to find the way back to uruk. All this depicts that how they try to be in terms with the gods.[2: . Sandars, N. K.. The epic of Gilgamesh: an English version with an introd.. Rev. ed. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 19721977]What is the view of death and the afterlife?The view of death and after life is illustrated in the play in an artistic style. It should be noted that people

The Epic of Gilgamesh

776 words - 4 pages wilderness with the animals until a prostitute comes and brings him to the city of Uruk to challenge Gilgamesh to a brawl. In the end, the two turn from enemies to friends. Gilgamesh and Enkidu learn rather quickly that the gods are dangerous for mortals. The gods and goddesses live by the rules they make; however, they behave ridiculously and immaturely. Religiousness, or some would say spirituality, is significant to the gods. They can be

The Epic of Gilgamesh

2133 words - 9 pages humanity’s first society with religious concerns, nevertheless its method reveals similar visions about the association between teaching and the entertainment in the oral culture. The epic of Gilgamesh shows together a wish to recalls the great hero’s importance and a responsibility to learn lessons all of his mistakes. The main thing people absorb from the epic is that Gilgamesh constructs large walls around himself and his city, takes advantage of

Similar Essays

Comparing Genesis And The Epic Of Gilgamesh

1466 words - 6 pages , “The [Giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward”(Gen. 6:4). There is a definite correlation between the Giants of the Bible and the demigods of The Epic of Gilgamesh. A key scene to support the theory that Gilgamesh is a descendant of an angel and a human during the time period in which the angels were “ taking wives”, is the fight scene with Gilgamesh and Enkidu. They brawl outside of a bedroom where Gilgamesh is about to

Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Genesis

1427 words - 6 pages of the stories. Within these similarities there are also differences that need to be pointed out as well. The flood story that is told in The Epic of Gilgamesh has the same principle as the story of Noah told in the book of Genesis in the Bible, but there are some major differences. In the epic, Utnapishtim is immortal and, although Noah was extremely old when he died, he wasn’t immortal. Utnapishtim was a human, but because he saved mankind

The Odyssey And The Epic Of Gilgamesh: Life Matters

1691 words - 7 pages In both, The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh, the protagonist goes on an arduous adventure that changes his inherent persona. In The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a journey with his crew to return home to his wife Clytemnestra after the fall of Troy. A notable incident he goes through is being courted by Circe but he is able to escape by rejecting her. However, he and his crew go through a lot of obstacles in their journey, some of which

The Discovery Of What Matters Most (In Life) Comparison Of The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Odyssey

854 words - 3 pages The discovery of what matters most"The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege (Charles Kuralt.)" The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey tell the stories of two men recognizing what means the most to them in life. They journey through their quests transforming into different people from whence they first began. In the end, they realize they just want to be loved and be with the ones who