The Effects of Power in Literary Works Essay

The Effects of Power in Literary Works Essay

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Looking at old literature is one of the best ways to get a glimpse of what may have been

going on thousands of years ago. Two of the most famous literary works of all time are

the Epic of Gilgamesh and Antigone. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered to be one of the

earliest literary works of mankind. The Epic of Gilgamesh follows a king named

Gilgamesh throughout multiple adventures. Antigone is one part of a three part series. The

series includes Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus. Antigone is a tragedy

that follows the story of a royal family. These works were both written over thousands of

years ago. In both The Epic of Gilgamesh and Antigone there are kings who let their power

go to their heads. In both of these literary works the kings have negative consequences for

allowing their power to get out of control. A good king must be able to keep his people in

line while also not letting his power go to his head. Both Antigone and The Epic of

Gilgamesh can teach a lesson about power. Too much power can go to your head, and that

is why it is important to rule with your heart rather than your head because what is in your

heart is more important than the rash decisions you make with your head.

Looking at The Epic of Gilgamesh and Antigone in their entirety you can see how

power corrupted the kings. The Epic of Gilgamesh follows Gilgamesh through his

adventures. Gilgamesh is the king of Uruk. Gilgamesh allows his power to go to his head,

and takes a wife away on her wedding night to sleep with him. Gilgamesh also makes the

men compete time and time again in competitions. The citizens of Uruk are fed up with

Gilgamesh, so they pray to the gods. The gods then create Enkidu....


... middle of paper ...


...el's Antigone." Mosaic

[Winnipeg] 41.3 (2008): 47+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

"Epic of Gilgamesh." Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic.

Vol. 74. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

Puchner, Martin, ed. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 3rd Ed. New York:

Norton, 2012. Print.

Foster, Benjamin. "The Epic of Gilgamesh," Puchner. 2012.

Sophocles. "Antigone," Puchner. 2012.

The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960: The Seminars of Jack Lacan, Book VIII. Ed.
Jacques-Alain Miller. Trans. Dennis Porter. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
1986.
Walker, Kathryn. "Between individual principles and communal obligation: ethical duty in

Sophocles's Antigone." Mosaic [Winnipeg] 41.3 (2008): 199+. Literature Resource Center.

Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

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