In order to be considered an epic, there must be an epic hero which appears to be missing at the start of the poem. He lacks the ability to do great deeds for others’ sake rather than his own glory. There are some aspects that appear to be unusual in the poem. Gilgamesh does not start off with a heroic moral status, which is what is needed to consider an epic hero. Gilgamesh gains this heroic moral status with the help of Enkidu. If Gilgamesh had never lost Enkidu, then he would still be a tyrannical ruler. He constantly boasts and abuses his power, such as when he would rape the women in his kingdom whenever he would desire. According to the narrator, “Gilgamesh would keep no girl to her moth...
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...r recapturing his youth, but he is able to bring back the acumen he has gained on his journey back to his kingdom.This obtained wisdom enhances his heroic status. Gilgamesh is also very similar to another famous epic, The Iliad. The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Iliad share many similarities. Both epic heros have a companion whom they value deeply. Gilgamesh’s deepest friend is Enkidu and Achilles’ closest companion is Patroclus. Without Enkidu, Gilgamesh would continue his tyrannical rule. Patroklos’s main purpose was to bring Achilles back into the war. Gilgamesh’s fear was death, while Achilles feared having legacy forgotten. Although they both have different fears, they both desire immortality above all else.
Gilgamesh did not achieve his ultimate goal, but he was able to offer hope and pride to his people, which is what makes The Epic of Gilgamesh a true epic poem.
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