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In the Bedroom, directed by Tom Field and The Epic of Gilgamesh, compiled by Sin-leqi-unninni

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The tragedies that occurred in the epic poem “The Epic of Gilgamesh” compiled by Sin-leqi-unninni compared and contrasted with the more modern work and film “In the Bedroom” directed by Todd Field (based on the novel Killings by Andre Dubus) are two stories full of tragedy, sorrow, and pain. Yet, the traditional understanding of tragedy may not pertain completely with these two works because of the cultures and societies in which they were written, they do, however, have many aspects of the Aristotelian definition of tragedy. Death is considered a tragedy and produces emotions of sorrow and distress in most cultures. Life is to be cherished and rejoiced in, but in the “Epic of Gilgamesh” and “In the Bedroom”, death seems to overcome life, which creates great tragedy within the midst of the main characters of the book and film. In the actions that Gilgamesh renders when Enkidu dies, and the pain that Dr. Matt Fowler and his wife encounter by the death of their son, Frank, makes the characters of Gilgamesh and Dr. Fowler “Tragic Heroes” by the Aristotelian definition which says, “Figure of high standing, noble birth, makes some choice of free will, exposing his or her tragic flaw (hamartia), [which] ultimately leads to suffering” (Tragedy Lecture). There are three main reasons in regard to The Epic of Gilgamesh and In the Bedroom that make these ancient and modern works tragedies; love, death, and revenge. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the story of two men, Gilgamesh and Enkidu. As the poem unfolds, Gilgamesh and Enkidu create a strong bond but are distracted from all that is around them by the quests and journeys that they find themselves pursuing. Similarly, Dr. Fowler and his son Frank are distracted by Frank’s girlfrie...


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...ing in death. Gilgamesh and Dr. Fowler both high standing, make choices and decisions that affect their lives and others lives, showing flaws, which lead to greater suffering. They do these things because of the death of their loved ones, and try to compensate for their weaknesses by taking revenge. The Suffering ensues and the Aristotelian definition of tragedy quite clearly exposes the truth and tragedy of love, death, and revenge in the Epic of Gilgamesh and In the Bedroom.


Works Cited

Bell, Stephen. Tragedy Lecture. Aristotelian Definition of Tragedy. Print.
Bell, Stephen. In the Bedroom Paper. Page 1-3. Print.
In the Bedroom. Dir. Todd Field. Perf. Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, and Marisa Tomei.
Miramax, 2001. Film.
Anonymous, Sin-leqi-unninni, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Assyrian International News Agency. Books online. www.aina.org. Internet.


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