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Gildemesh Essay, Research Paper

"Destiny in Gilgamesh and The Iliad" Stories do not need to inform us

of things. From Gilgamesh for example, we know that some of the people who lived

in the land between the Tigris and Euphates rivers in the second and third

milleniums BCE. We know they celabrated a king named Gilgamesh; we know they

believed in many gods; we know they were self- -consious of their own

cultivation of the natural world; and we know they were literate. In the story,

The Iliad we also know that great rulers and gods ruled and where top priority

of the lands. Point being it can be argued that the story of Gil- -gamesh and

the Iliad destiny’s are quite the same in relivence of the wars and the way’s of

life both of the story’s complete to meaningful death. In hand which comtr- -ibutes

to both of the epics. In the story of Gilgamesh, it is important to look careful

what happened in the story; that is , look at it as if the actions and people it

describes actually took place or existed. The questions raised by a character’s

actions discuss the implic- -ations of their consequences. But it’s not to

consider how the story is put together rather how it uses the conventions of

language, of events with beginings and endings of description of character and

storytelling itself to reawaken our sensitivity to the real world. The real

world is the world without conventions, the unnameable, unrep- resentable

world–in it’s continuity of action, it’s shadings and blurrings of character

its indecipherable patterns of being. The Iliad and Gilgamesh story’s is greatly

a remminder of the way life is today; just different in time but neitherless to

say similiar in goals and destiny’s. Moreover, in the prologue of Gilgamesh it’s

found to know that he was two- -thirds god and one-third man, and his knowledge

is the key that follows. Gilgamesh is a hero– more beautiful, more courageous,

more terrifying than the rest of us; his desires, attributes, and

accomplishments epitomize our own. Yet he is also mortal: he must experiance the

death of others and also die himself. How much more must a god rage against

death than we who are merely mortal! And if he can reconile himself with death

then surely we can. In fact, without death his life would be mean- -ingless, and

the adventures that make up the epic would disappear. The story begins with the

coming of Enkidu. As a young man and a god Gilgamesh has no compasion with the

people of Uruk. He is their king but not their shepherd; he kills their sons and

rapes the daughters. Hearing the peolpe’s lament, the gods create Enkidu as a

match for Gilgamesh, a second self:"[L]et them contend together and leave

Uruk in quiet"(31). The plan works in several ways. First Enkidu prevents

Gilgamesh from entering the house of a bride and bridegroom; they fight embrace

as friends. Second, Enkudu and Gilgamesh undertake a journey into the forest to

confront the terrible Humbaba. There they encourage each other to face death

triumphantly: [All] living creatures born of the flesh shall sit at least in the

boat of the west/ and when it sinks/when the boat of Magilum sinks/ they are

gone but we shall go forward and fix our eyes on this monster.(35) While

everlasting life is not his destiny, Gilgamesh will leave behind him a name that

endures. "[I] will go to the country where the ceder is felled/ I will set

up my name in the place where names of famous men are written"(32) Thus

Gilgamesh turns his attention away from small personal desires to loftier

personal desires desires that benifit rather than Uruk. To remember from the

progue that the walls of the city, made from cedar taken from the forest, still

stand in actuality or imagi- -nation to proclaim Gilgamesh’s fame, and the very

first sentence of the epic attest to the immortality of his name. But the

immortality of a name is less the ability to live forever than to die. Third and

most important, Enkidu teaches Gilgamesh what it means to be human; he teaches

him the meaning of love and compassion, the meaning of loss and of growing

older, the meaning of mortality!! However similar in the Iliad the main theme of

the story is also war, unlike Gilgamesh there’s two sides having war with each

other aswell as themselves and family. The epic begins with an arguement between

the greek king and the chief fighter. Homer’s outlook on the war itself is

unique and compeling as where the battle between the greeks and the trojans are

caused mainly because of a woman. At the period women where belittled and

treated like whores and it was all fine. A war that was so intense the god Zeus

was called upon to help, first off Apollo is angry because Agamemnon(king of the

greeks) has failed to let one of the god’s priests ransome a daughter, Agamemnon

had alloted himself as a war-prize. Ag- -amemnon reluctantly gives girl up but

insists on taking in her place Briseis(achellis concubine; captured by the

greeks) who was originally assigned to Achilles-hence the "wrath of

Achelles," which is the epic’s announced topic. Achelles complains to his

mother Thetis, who presuades Zeus to let the trojans prevail in battle, until

Achelles’s honor is satisfied. That’s the thing about this war between the

Greeks and Trojans all of the flat characters of these two stories seem’s to be

their destiny to die with honor. Later to find out in the story of the Iliad

when the cheif fighter Hector leads the Trojans through the greeks wall with

vingance. Poseidon disobeys Zeus and help rally the greeks. Poseidon keeps

Agamemnon from calling retreat to the ships, while hera (borrowing a magic

girdle from Aprhodite) seduces Zeus and lulls him to sleep. Hector is wounded by

a stone, and the Trojans are driven back. Zeus wakes up mad at his wife and

sends Apollo to heal Hector, who comes back and burns the Greek ships. Later on,

Hector reproaches himself for not having retreated at the first appearance of

the Achilles. He goes out to meet Achilles in single combat and is slain. So he

finally met his destiny. Achilles ties his body behind a chariot and drag it off

to the greek ships. Finally, these are some contributes whereas the works of

Gilgamesh and the Iliad are the same and virtualy look upon as the choosers of

their own true destiny and that’s DEATH.


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