The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are tales of grand journeys undertaken by a single man. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, King Gilgamesh undertakes a quest for eternal life. Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s best friend, fell ill and died. The death of Enkidu greatly affected Gilgamesh as it caused him to become aware of his own mortality. As he laments Enkidu, Gilgamesh questions, “Shall I not die too? Am I not like Enkidu?” (Gilgamesh IX.3). Gilgamesh travels great distances to find Utanapishtim, who has found a way to become immortal, to learn how to become immortal. In The Odyssey. Telemachus has to travel great distances to find out what happened to his father, Odysseus. Odysseus left for the Trojan War when Telemachus was a baby and has not returned. Everyone, except Penelope, Odysseys’ wife, think he is dead. Therefore, many suitors have to come win Penelope’s hand and take over Odysseys’ kingdom. The suitors are causing terror and Telemachus wants to kill them, but lacks the skills to actually kill the...
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...than in The Epic of Gilgamesh because Athena directly tells Telemachus to take the journey. But in The Epic of Gilgamesh, the actions of a god in a previous event cause Gilgamesh to start his journey.
Overall, the journeys in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are mostly different. Gilgamesh encounters physical challenges, while Telemachus faces political. Gilgamesh’s fear drove him to take on a journey for selfish reasons. Telemachus went on a quest to find his father to help his mother get rid of her suitors. Maybe that is why Telemachus was successful with his quest and Gilgamesh was not. However, The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey both have gods influencing why the person took the quest. In the end, The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are similar because they are epic poems about journeys, but they each have their own unique aspects with in the journeys.
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