Also, and epic hero is also usually selfless, a leader, and honorable. These are just a few of the specific qualities that an epic hero must possess in order to be epic. Another characteristic that any epic hero has is their very own tragic flaw. Anyone can be a hero, but it takes much more to be considered an epic hero. Some epic heroes from several different texts that will be analyzed will be Achilles from The Iliad, Odysseus from The Odyssey, Aeneas from The Aeneid, Socrates from The Republic, Gilgamesh from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf from Beowulf, and King Arthur from Morte D’Arthur.
He unfortunately does not obtain eternal life, but instead he obtains the wisdom he needs to rule as a better king. This journey is what proves to make Gilgamesh an epic hero. Although, Gilgamesh is considered to be truly an epic hero in the end, there are some aspects
For example, Old Testament is monotheistic, while Gilgamesh outlines many deities. Both texts have fundamental links in the relationships between deities and mankind, and the idea of knowledge. The Bible and Gilgamesh are literary texts that conjunctively parallel and contrast each other in various aspects such as wisdom. Knowledge is a prominent characteristic that is central in Gilgamesh and Genesis which builds a link between omniscient divine and mortals, but also distinction of power. The ancient epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis both place a strong emphasis that the divine is much more superior to mankind in terms of power, control, and mor... ... middle of paper ... ...ses this imperative information of immortality.
Since the desire of immortality is impossible to attain and leaves much reparations. So, instead this tale encourages acceptance and the idea of preserving knowledge and hope for future generations. Gilgamesh’s story is so crucial and essential because his personal experiences provided knowledge to future generations. After all, the “Mesopotamians believed that the highest knowledge came to sages of the remote past directly from the gods or through extraordinary events not likely to recur” (xxi). He experienced everything and achieved complete knowledge.
An Unconventional Hero According to Greek mythology, a hero is one who values glory above life itself and honorably dies in the battle during his prime period of his life. After the gods and demi-god of Greece, heroes probably are the most admirable figures in society. However, Odysseus seems to defy the conventional definition of a hero. He is overwhelmed with tremendous obstacles and difficulty, often beyond that a normal man could endure but he determines to stay alive rather than die young. Achilles states in Book 11 “I’d rather be a hired hand back on earth…, | Than lord it over all these withered dead”(Odyssey 11.510-512).
Although considered great for his many feats such as his great walls and military expeditions, his faults could not be questioned by the commoners, which show a flaw in Mesopotamian kingship. Therefore, the gods ask Anu to create a counterpart to Gilgamesh to balance his oppressive reign. "Let him be a match for the storm of his heart, let them vie with each other, so Uruk may be rested!" (Tablet I 97-98). Enkidu, Gilgamesh 's counterpart, was initially created as a wild, uncivilized man rather than a demigod king.
Before Gilgamesh was able to reach his full potential, he needed to complete a journey. Not a journey to conquer or defeat countless enemies, not a journey to find everlasting life, and not a journey to be a great king, but a journey within himself to find who he truly was meant to be. As shown in the conclusion of the epic, Gilgamesh will forever be known as the ruler of Uruk, compassionate and wise. His encounters with Humbaba, the Bull of Heaven, and his vast journey to the ends of the earth will fade away in time, leaving only the memory of his honorable rule lasting, surviving the test of time. Works Cited The Epic of Gilgamesh, Trans.
For only a fool would want to live forever and a day. It takes will, strength, power, and a motive to keep a balance of liberty and just to slay beast. Perhaps it takes a man to want nothing more than to see his family again in order to pursue a quest that overcomes all obstacles. The closest thing to a god that a mortal being can become is nothing more than a hero amongst men. Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Odysseus were all mortal beings, yet each of these men portrayed god like qualities.
This becomes apparent to the reader as the Epic describes how he treats the people of Uruk ruling them with not a care other than his own. Nevertheless, the God Anu can take part of the blame for this outcome because Gilgamesh had been created with such physical and divine characteristics that no other could match his greatness. As the character of Enkidu was introduced, Gilgamesh’s character transitioned to that of a more courageous one. The King of Uruk would come to share his power in battle with the one who stood up against him. Gilgamesh would come to the realization that he was not as powerful as he had made up in his mind in the battle with Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven.
Without them, Aeneas would not be the hero he is. This gift does not come without a price, though; he must endure the things heroes endure to become what they are. Despite his accomplishments and the glory associated with his life, Aeneas only achieves the status of hero through divine intervention, and this god-given position causes him just as much grief as it does splendor. Aeneas is the son of Venus. This fact alone brings about much of the hero in him.