Essay Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Beowulf

Decent Essays
Heroes have captivated the minds of people throughout time. They fill the lore of cultures in all time periods and give societies a beacon of hope. The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf are cultural examples of heroes. These stories gave their respective cultures hope and the thrill of a higher stratosphere of ability and honor. More importantly, these heroes help present day historians learn more about the cultures that idolized them. The Epic of Gilgamesh begins by narrating the rule of Gilgamesh, King of Uruk. Gilgamesh if two thirds god and one third man. He lords over his people—forcing the people to build temples to him and raping any woman that strikes his fancy. Upon hearing the groans of the people, the gods send down a wild man to humble Gilgamesh named Enkidu. This is were the story begins. Enkidu is more beast than man in many ways. However, a woman tames him and he enters society only to find that he does not like the ruling behaviors of King Gilgamesh. He confronts Gilgamesh and the two have a tremendous battle that King Gilgamesh narrowly wins. Eventually though, the two become close friends and experience many adventures together including the killing the terrifying demon Humbaba. After a time, …show more content…
Cultures create heroes out of idealized personification of the values that they hold in the highest esteem. Beowulf and The Epic of Gilgamesh give historians a better idea of the cultures that made them up. Beowulf was created by the
People create heroes by either recognizing someone as a representation of desired cultural values, or by inventing one who accomplishes the same objective. Therefore, observing who a civilization respects shows something about the character of the civilization itself. In Gilgamesh, the tale starts immediately with both the mention and the description of the deeds and prowess of
Gilgamesh. The “Prologue” consists of describing his deeds and commanding the listener to

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The author uses direct exposition describe Gilgamesh, as a hero and a godlike character. He does this to set the story and to avoid misinterpretations or doubts about Gilgamesh champion standing when he writes: hero status is well established at the beginning when the The writer establishes from the start the protagonist’s godlike mighty and power when…

    • 1397 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The gods punish Enkidu for falling under the temptation of the harlot. This is similar to the man in the Genesis that fell under temptation and was punished for it. The gods weaken Enkidu and the animals he lived with turn and shun him in order to show him that what he did was not pleasing to the gods. Later on in the story Enkidu and Gilgamesh return to their city after killing, Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest. When they return, Ishtar pleads for Gilgamesh to be her husband but Gilgamesh refuses.…

    • 1501 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Feeling betrayed by Prometheus embezzlement, Zeus forced humans to go through tribulations such as Pandora and her box, and the “flood that was used to destroy all of creation.” (Prometheus: The Creator of Man). But yet, Prometheus sided with the humans.The other story is almost parallel to this, however humans were already blessed with fire. Due to Prometheus crafty plan their gift was taken. At the feast that was offered to the God’s Prometheus tricked Zeus into choosing the lesser offering, therefore providing the humans with the greater reward. Feeling enraged that he would receive less than a mortal, Zeus removed their source of fire leaving them to starve, and to suffer.…

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The gods are considered a part of religion and The Epic of Gilgamesh helps us to know and understand this. Gilgamesh speaks to the gods in many situations throughout the stories, therefore we connect those ideas to real life Mesopotamia believing that the people of Mesopotamia also thought very highly of their gods. Many natural forces are said to be the works of gods. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh denies the goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, being very upset by the rejection, forces her father to send down the bull of heaven to earth to destroy all crops and water sources as well as many people (George, 1999, pg.…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Heroic Code In Beowulf

    • 1095 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Unfortunately, the monster Grendel hears the joyful noise from the hall and attacks it every night, killing its inhabitants. After countless nights of horror, Beowulf shows up and offers to help defeat Grendel. While Beowulf and his men are feasting in preparation to fight, Unferth, a Dane, begins to challenge Beowulf and his reputation. Beowulf corrects him with the truth and then Hrothgar leaves Heorot in Beowulf’s hands, a first for him as the Hall has always been in his control. When Grendel shows up, Beowulf defeats him barehanded, by ripping off his arm and hanging it in the hall.…

    • 1095 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The author uses direct exposition to describe Gilgamesh, as a hero and a godlike character. He does this to set the story and to avoid misinterpretations, or doubts about Gilgamesh champion standing when he writes: hero status is well established at the beginning when the The writer establishes from the start the protagonist’s godlike mighty and power…

    • 1386 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 1482 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the book, the king of Uruk is Gilgamesh, and he rules and terrorizes the many people who are under his rule. The overbearing gods and goddesses in the story create Enkidu to counteract his manipulation. Gilgamesh and Enkidu end up becoming best friends and going on many (unnecessary, but) epic journeys and quests together. Even though the book was written 5,000 years ago, it follows a template that many other action books follow, called the Hero’s Journey. This template provides an arc to the book that starts with the departure of the hero, reaches the climax with initiation and ends with the return of the hero, who have mastered themselves and the worlds around them by the end of the book.…

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Odysseus showed lots of bravery but the most that stuck out to me was when he was trying to fight and pass by Scylla. He had a choice to either pass by Charybdis and Scylla. He chose Scylla while knowing some of his men where going to die. They pass by Scylla going fast and Scylla the six headed monster grabbed some of his men and killed them. Odysseus stood on the ship ready to fight Scylla, that shows tremendous…

    • 1066 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the text, the God Anu says of him, “'A savage wild bull you have bred in Uruk-the-Sheepfold, he has no equal when his weapons are brandished`”(4) The people of Uruk grew tired of his tyranny. When Enkidu was created for him, the first thing the two did was fight. Afterwards, they became quick friends and set off on an adventure. After the pair defeat Ishtar’s bull in tablet VI, the goddess demands for one of them to die. Enlil chooses Enkidu and makes him sick.…

    • 835 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays