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Similarities Between Gilgamesh And Achilles

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In the beginning of the Iliad and The Epic of Gilgamesh there are similarities in the behavior of the leading characters. Gilgamesh and Achilles both have problems managing their emotions. For Gilgamesh the issue is in the form of sexual conquest and abuse of power. For Achilles it is pride and fury that causes problems for the hero. It could be said that these behaviors show how the heroes deal with and internalize feelings as well as emotions. Another similarity is how the loss of their comrades causes a transformation in the protagonists. In the Iliad the hero Achilles suffers the loss of his close comrade, Patroclus, and likewise in The Epic of Gilgamesh he experiences the death of Enkidu. The deaths of these comrades serve as a catalyst…show more content…
After the loss of Enkidu, Gilgamesh goes into a state of mourning as evidenced by the removal of his clothing and the act of putting on a loincloth. The symbolism of the removal of clothing and putting on a loincloth is that Gilgamesh is becoming one with nature thus completing the emotional side Enkudu filled. Afterwards, he roams the plains to live a simple life in honor of Enkidu. In the Iliad, Achilles mourning of Patroclus turns into rage after seeing the body of his dead comrade: “When Achilles learns of the death of Patroclus, he bursts into tears, tearing his hair and throwing himself on the ground. His sorrowful lament is heard by his mother, Thetis, and she comes to comfort him.” (Homer 179). The showing of tears shows the intensity of the mourning that Achilles had. Also the changing of emotions quickly shows he is quick to change feelings. This quick emotional change shows that he is very spontaneous. This quote shows the length that Achilles would go for Patroclus as he had great love for his comrade in…show more content…
He can’t see in front of him or behind him in the total darkness. He walks the first, second, and third double hour in total blackness and struggles for breath in the hot darkness. He walks four, five, and six double hours with the north wind blowing in his face. As the eleventh double hour approaches, the darkness begins to fade. At the end of the twelfth double hour, Gilgamesh emerges from the tunnel into the sweet morning air and the sunlight. He steps into a beautiful garden filled with fruit and foliage the colors of carnelian, rubies, and other jewels. Beyond the garden glitters the sea. (Gilgamesh 31) this quote shows the symbolism of death and rebirth. When it is dark Gilgamesh’s evil emotions are beginning to fade. The color black in Mesopotamia culture represents death, according to academia.edu. The color black, also known as ṣalmu “was considered inauspicious and associated with the night, gloom and shadow” (Sinclair). The color white was known as BABBAR or peṣu and was “Equivalent in value to the color white and was used to describe the concepts of light, shine, brilliance, radiance, holiness, ritual purity and occasionally uncolored.”( Sinclair) Thus it can be said that according to a cultural understanding of colors and meaning that the symbolism can’t be far off. Gilgamesh is remembered for the good things, even though in the beginning he was not that virtuous. Why this quote is important is to understand the metaphor
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