Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus

Satisfactory Essays
Gilgamesh and Odysseus are two heroes from two different time periods that were both in search of the meaning of life. The epics that the two characters are featured in Gilgamesh, was developed from early Mesopotamia and the Odyssey in early Greece. Gilgamesh was a very popular and it was very valuable to the historian of Mesopotamian culture because it reveals much about the religious world, such as their attitudes toward the gods, how a hero was defined and regarded, views about death and friendship.

The Odyssey was also very popular in it’s time. It was set in ancient Greece where in its culture; mythology was the heart of everyday life. The Greek Culture turned to mythology to explain different phenomena for which they had no scientific explanation and this was prominent in the epic the Odyssey.

While preparing to write this paper, I thought it would be great just to focus on the heroes of these two great epics many differences. Although during the course of my research I found that they also had just as many similarities. In this paper I will focus on the two characters by expressing their differences, as well as their similarities, and I will also give a bit of history about our two heroes.

Gilgamesh, the hero from the epic Gilgamesh, was the historical king of Uruk in Babylonia, on the river Euphrates in modern Iraq: he lived about 2700B.C. Odysseus, the hero from the epic the Odysseus, was the ruler of the island kingdom of Ithaca. He was one of the most prominent Greek leaders of the Trojan War. Both of these men were granted certain strengths, Gilgamesh had physical, while Odysseus had mental strengths.

Gilgamesh was a very self confident and at times that self confidence led to him to have little compassion for the people of Uruk at he beginning of the story. He was their king, but not their protector; he kills their sons and rapes their daughters. He felt like he was superior to others due to the fact that he was two-thirds god, his mother was a goddess Ninsun and one third human. This fact is the key to all of his actions. This is also what sets him apart from the hero Odysseus.

While Gilgamesh was a hero thought to be more beautiful, more courageous, more terrifying than all of the people of Uruk. Even though his desires, attributes, and accomplishments were just as there’s, he was still mortal.
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