From the days of ancient Greece and before, epic heroes have had their lives chronicled and their stories passed on from generation to generation all the way to present day. Two of the greatest heroes have been Gilgamesh from the epic named after him and Achilles from Homer's Iliad. While the two men's stories transpired in vastly different eras, their lives shared a surprising number of commonalities. Of course, with resemblances come several discrepancies in the way they lived and the ideals they believed in.
The first aspect that exemplifies both Gilgamesh's and Achilles' similarities and differences is divinity. Both Gilgamesh and Achilles are the sons of divine mothers. Gilgamesh, two-thirds divine and one-third mortal, is
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Both Gilgamesh and Achilles made friends throughout their lifetimes that were like brothers and played a vital role in each hero's life. In response to the people of Uruk's prayers and complaints, the god Anu had his daughter Aruru create Enkidu, a man of the wild, to be Gilgamesh's equivalent. However, instead of becoming a worthy adversary, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become best friends after their first encounter. Having found a worthy companion, Gilgamesh also found an alternative to his cruel rule as the two friends joined each other to accomplish heroic feats on their path to glory.
Achilles also found a companion that had an immense impact on his life. Patroclus met Achilles after seeking refuge in the house of Peleus, which is strikingly different from how Enkidu was sent from heaven to be Gilgamesh's adversary. Regardless of how they met, it was this friendship that carried Achilles and Patroclus in the Trojan War just as the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu carried them through their epic journeys to defeat Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven.
As mentioned, Gilgamesh and Achilles found friends throughout their lifetimes, Enkidu and Patroclus, respectively, who significantly impacted their lives, especially in the aspect of the friends' deaths. Initially, one notices the dramatically