Similarities And Differences Between The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Odyssey

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Both The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are epic poems that portray protagonists’ journeys. While reading both epics, a reader can observe characteristics and situations that parallel one another in both of the poems. Although there are differences between the two characters and their voyages, there are similarities among them that ultimately lead them to discover their true purpose. Throughout the epics, both protagonists’ perspectives on the meaning of life change based on the obstacles and challenges that they face.
To begin, both of the main characters are sovereign rulers of their land with kingly attributes. Gilgamesh is the king of the ancient land of Uruk, which is located in Southern Mesopotamia (33). Odysseus reigns over Ithaca,
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Throughout the epic, readers can see that she ultimately wants to bring him home to his family and city. While under a disguise, she aids Telemachus and Penelope, reassuring them that Odysseus is still alive and on his way home. When Odysseus finally returns home, Athena disguises herself as Odysseus’ friend, Mentor, and encourages him to regain his strength and vigor to defeat the suitors that are taking over his city (438). Athena also stops Odysseus from shedding any more bloodshed and quarrel (466). Ultimately, Athena’s friendship benefits Odysseus in safely returning him home and making him a stronger, passive …show more content…
Through these different battles, both protagonists gain confidence that they can overcome any life-threatening obstacle. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh faces the guardian of the Cedar Forest, Humbaba. Enkidu and Gilgamesh venture on a quest to the Cedar Forest to destroy and kill Humbaba. Ultimately, Gilgamesh slays the beast, “[killing] the guardian [with his] strength” and proving his tremendous power and might (61). He also encounters the Bull of Heaven, which destroys the city of Uruk by opening up pits in the ground. After defeating the Bull of Heaven, Gilgamesh proves to himself that he is a “strong, skillful slaughterer” that has acted as the sovereign protector of his city (65). In The Odyssey, Odysseus clashes with a number of creatures ranging from a six-headed monster to cannibals and mesmerizing women. With each battle, some of Odysseus’ crew were lost, making his journey back home longer. While the Scylla, Charybdis, and the Laestrygonians were deathly monsters, the Cyclops proved to be a difficult challenge for Odysseus. Using his cunning and practical knowledge, he was able to return himself and some of his crew safely to the ship. His deception towards

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