Popol Vuh vs. Gilgamesh

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Popol Vuh vs. Gilgamesh While the two texts Gilgamesh and Popol Vuh have many similarities, themes characters ect. I personally would not call the two texts similar. In my opinion for two texts to be similar they must poses similar general themes that apply to the entire text, not small themes that only apply to portions of the text. In other words I believe that two texts can have similar events, yet have completely different meanings. Popol Vuh and Gilgamesh actually had more similarities than dissimilarities, but it is the significance of those similarities, not the quantity, that really counts. The fact that small details come up in both texts does not overshadow the fact that these two texts have different meanings. In this essay I will discus the similarities and dissimilarities of both these texts with no bias towards the dissimilarities, allowing the facts to speak for themselves. The similarities between Popol Vuh and Gilgamesh are numerous to say the least. The first and most important similarity in my mind is the cultural importance of the two texts. Each text can be used extensively for the study of its respected culture. Popol Vuh is, in essence, a religious history, or for lack of a better word "bible" for the ancient Mayan civilization, by studying it we can learn more about their beliefs, which in turn, allows us to better, understand their culture. For example, Popol Vuh states that humans were made from corn; from this we can infer that the Mayan people used corn as their main food source. Popol Vuh also alludes to the belief that animals were in a since, the gods first attempt at creating man, from this information we can infer that the Mayan people had great respect for the animals, especially monkeys w... ... middle of paper ... ... and cultures of various translations leave a large imprint on the overall message of the book. Popol Vuh was first translated by the Spanish when they first colonized Mexico, then more recently by American historians early this century. The translation of these texts is incredibly important in creating a "personality" for the text, and because of the incredible differences in the translations of these texts their "personalities" are completely different. In closing I would like to point out that while there are many similarities between these texts, most of them are either in small details, like stories they have in common, or how our society views them as a way of studying ancient cultures. The differences however are in the actual styles, content, and intentions of the texts. It is my opinion that these texts are very different and should not be compared.

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