Ethical Issues In The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Odyssey

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Ethical issues, which, according to BusinessDictionary.com, "a problem or situation that requires a person or organization to choose between alternatives that must be evaluated as right (ethical) or wrong (unethical)," are seen in many works of literature. For example, in Louisa May Alcott 's Little Women, the main character, Jo, struggles with not knowing whether or not she wants to marry her best friend because she wants to focus on her future. Another example is from Victor Hugo 's Les Miserables where the main character, Jean Valjean, works to rebuild his life after having a struggle of stealing for his family and attempting to do so again after being freed. These ethical issues are just examples of some that come up in both The Epic of Gilgamesh, written in ancient Mesopotamia, and The Odyssey written by Homer in ancient Greece. Though many of these situations being discussed are mainly going to be from these two epics, there were also be situations mentioned from Lysistrata by Aristophanes and The Aeneid by Virgil. The characters of …show more content…
In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh had to choose between continuing to fight Enkidu, which would be considered unethical, and becoming friends with him and putting aside their differences, which would be considered ethical. When Enkidu says to Gilgamesh "There is not another like you in the world. Ninsun, who is as strong as a wild ox in the byre, she was the mother who bore you, and now you are raised above all men, and Enlil has given you the kingship, for your strength surpasses the strength of men," Gilgamesh decides to push aside all differences he had with Enkidu after a long, hard battle and become friends with him. This particular issue is an example of having to choose between fighting with someone and making peace. Had Gilgamesh not become friends with Enkidu, he wouldn 't have discovered how much he could care about a

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