Challenges In The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Greek's Iliad

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In the Babylonian’s The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Greek’s Iliad, a hero finds himself on a journey or quest in which he must face many challenges. During both works, each of these heroes, Gilgamesh and Achilles, exemplify the values of their cultures through their actions during this journey. The emphasis of proper burial for each of the hero’s second selves, show how important it was to have a proper burial site in each of these cultures. We also see how each of these heroes dramatically mourns for their lost friends, or second selves, showing the importance of friendship in both cultures. To further compare, we also see similar “choices” of immortality relating to ever-lasting respect after the hero’s death. This helps show how in …show more content…
In The Epic of Gilgamesh, as also mentioned before, Enkidu is killed by a curse sent by the gods for over stepping mortal boundaries. The myth states, “Princes of the earth [will kiss your feet].
I will make the people [of Uruk] weep for you, [mourn for you].
 [I will fill] the proud people with sorrow for you.
 And I myself will neglect my appearance after your death. Clad only in a lionskin, I will roam the open country.” It then later continues, “Gilgamesh mourned bitterly for Enkidu his friend, And roamed open country. 'Shall I die too? Am I not like Enkidu? Grief has entered my innermost being, 
I am afraid of Death, and so I roam open country.” Gilgamesh obviously takes his friends death very seriously. As mentioned in the notes, when heroes in ancient myths do something, they do it to their full ability, including mourning for lost friends. Gilgamesh even states that he is going to make the people of Uruk (City he is king of) mourn for Enkidu and “fill them with sorrow.” He also states that he will roam the wilderness in his mourning and even questions his own life and death. Here, Gilgamesh gives us insight to friendship in the eyes of Babylonian culture. He shows us that the Babylonians may have cherished their friendships and thought of them as some sort of everlasting bond. In Iliad, we see this very similar friendship between Achilles and his second self, Patroclus. After Patroclus’s death, much like Gilgamesh after Enkidu’s death, Achilles displays an intense mourning that carries out throughout the myth. The Iliad states “So spake he, and a black cloud of grief enwrapped Achilles, and with both his hands he took the dark dust and strewed it over his head and defiled his fair face, and on his fragrant tunic the black ashes fell. And himself in the dust lay outstretched, mighty in his mightiness, and with his own

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