Essay on The Epic Poems Of Gilgamesh And Ovid

Essay on The Epic Poems Of Gilgamesh And Ovid

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The epic poems of Gilgamesh and Ovid’s Metamorphoses contain an almost uncanny resemblance in terms of certain events that take place within both works of literature. Within the poems, one may compare both interpretations of the flood in such a way that could make it difficult to discern their differences. However, despite how comparable the poems may seem, they do pose specific differences that separate them from one another. Although these poems are extremely similar in context, they share differences in terms of cause and effect. Along with this, one must take into account that these poems are separated by two millenniums, which could potentially be a factor. Regardless, the depictions of the flood in these works points to the historical significance of this event.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest works of literature found in our history. The depictions that this poem contains regarding the flood hold specific details that most individuals could relate to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. However, being that this epic poem is over four thousand years old, the origin of such a familiar story stands in curious position. Within the epic, the gods become unhappy with mankind and decide to send a great flood to wipe out humanity. The god Ea betrays the other god’s intentions by tasking Utnapishtim to act as the Mesopotamian Noah. Ea warns Utnapishtim to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ark, stating to “forsake possessions and seek life, belongings reject and life save” (Gilgamesh 143). With this, Utnapishtim follows in suit, gathering his family and friends to board the ark and await the impending flood. This story of Utnapishtim’s journey doesn’t stray far from the depictions we see in the religiou...


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...unts, although not all are willing to label the connections as anything more than shared mythology” (Lorey 2). Although his article only takes into account the events in Genesis and Gilgamesh, the comparison still holds true to the nature of each work presented. Though the accounts are passed off as nothing more than common mythology, there seems to be a significant historical context that still has yet to be fully unearthed.
In the end, these poems do present specific differences that could very well pertain to their separation of time. Remaining so similar while being separated by two millenniums definitely suggests historical significance, but there’s just too much we don’t know. However, no matter the similarities, they share differences in terms of cause and effect, and the depictions of the flood in these works points to some kind historical significance.

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