Analysis Of ' The Epic Of Gilgamesh ' Essays

Analysis Of ' The Epic Of Gilgamesh ' Essays

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Leadership is something that has been around since civilization. You would think that an idea so old would be straight forward but, we can see completely different ideas of what a leader, good or bad, should look like. While some of these stories may be fictional, they line up with a historical timeline of expectations. We can also see how the role of a king and how their duties have evolved in real life. The Epic of Gilgamesh shows us how to control your power. In 1 & 2 Samuel, we see what makes a ruler great and obstacles they have to over come. When we read The Theban Plays we saw how smart a ruler had to be to please his people. While all of these leaders may seem great there are plenty of reason that makes them not great. They all rule in a different way, yet share some characteristics. Is there one king that we can truly call great? What even classifies a king as great?

In my opinion Gilgamesh is one of the characters we see change the most. We see him change from a tyrannical leader to someone who has immortality on his mind. Does that sound like a good leader? The poem opens up with how Gilgamesh treats the people in his city. More importantly the women. While society back then was mostly male dominant, this was still something that was against most moral codes. The way this is translated you can tell Gilgamesh is not a popular king. “Gilgamesh sounds the tocsins for his amusement, his arrogance has no bounds by day or night.” (George, Page 839 Kindle Edition). The book even talks about how he is supposed to “shepherd” over his people but they think he is more like a “savage bull”. The journey Gilgamesh and Enkidu went on was not so heroic. This journey is to make an even bigger name for himself. I fi...


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...ith him and he loses credibility because of that. Something that is constant throughout time is, commitment to your people. Oedipus, Samuel, and David are all very loyal but, Saul and Gilgamesh are not. Throughout all theses comparisons we can see a pattern forming that Gilgamesh and Saul are considered poor leaders and, David Samuel and Oedipus are good rulers.

I think the stories I chose to compare were very different. It is important to look at a variety of examples when one is trying compare and contrast. We looked at the Theban plays from the mid 400BC, we examined Gilgamesh from 2000BC, and 1 & 2 Samuel from around 800BC. From theses texts I would conclude that throughout time a good leader is someone who is loyal to their people, powerful, and intelligent. I believe that these traits still hold true today and will continue to be true for years to come.

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