Philosophy of Death in The Epic of Gilgamesh, Apology, The Satyricon, The Iliad, and The Martyrdom of Perpetua

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The only things in life that cannot be avoided are taxes and death. In fact, death is the only way one can avoid taxes. Since it has such finality to it, what perspectives do people have regarding death? What are the images and attitudes they have? The documents The Epic of Gilgamesh, Apology, The Satyricon, The Iliad, and The Martyrdom of Perpetua are the most important documents of the Ancient world concerning Western philosophy on death. These documents are significant because the attitudes and images associated with each work are primarily influenced by the genre it which they were written.
The Epic of Gigamesh and The Iliad are both epic poems written about epic heroes. In epic poems, repetitions of earlier events in the story are recounted in later parts of the story. The repetition is used to emphasize a point. These other stories do not need this literary device because they are written accounts. If the authors repeated themselves in their writings, their readers would think they are boring or out of ideas. For the orator repetition is not a fault, but a necessity. Repetition needs to be used when orally telling a story.
The images are repeated so that they are associated with the attitudes about death. After the attitudes of death are established in the stories, the listener might lose focus on the images that the orator presented at the beginning of the poem. To the orator, the attitudes of death must progress more slowly, keeping close to the images that open the story. This repetition of earlier images helps keep the speaker and listener on the same track. So, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad both use this repetition of images in order to remind the reader of how closely they relate to their attitudes about de...

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...m format would be next to impossible since Christians did not have a society of their own and had to live in scattered communities.
Throughout each and every civilization, one of the central tasks of the language arts remains placing structure on the complex purpose of life and death, giving meaning to both. Literature aims just as certainly as science to understand the world we inhabit and to interpret each person’s role as participants in the human condition. Death in literature is a varied thing, just as every person’s death is. It permeates our thoughts at all levels, from the immediate sense of devastation that the personal loss of Enkidu gives us to the ways in which we manage the fact of death by pushing it onto the surface like Socrates and Perpetua did. In that sense, these works will provide an immortal contribution to the understanding of death.

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