Hubristic to Humble Great leaders embody a paradox. They develop strength and wisdom through failure and ignorance. The activist Gandhi recognizes this contradiction, noting that both strength and weakness and wisdom and folly are close companions: “it is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” Gilgamesh proves this truth in The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Herbert Mason.
In the article, Beowulf’s Androgynous Heroism, The author tells us that Beowulf is one of the “most memorable in his capacity as the masculine warrior and king.” (Robert Morrey, Beowulf’s Androgynous Heroism, University of Illinois Press) Even though he had no feminine companion beside him, he still fulfilled his roles, as he should have. Beowulf was authentically strong and unquestionably capable of standing up, even when nobody else could. He was able to stand up and arrest control when need be. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, he was struggling to be the best he could be until Enkidu died, his best friend.
In Ancient Chinese culture, Confucius identifies virtue in The Analects as fidelity to the Way, a path or model of behavior, while in Gilgamesh, virtue in Sumerian society grows from legacy and comradeship. Both cultures recognize importance of striving to better society and build community. They also value progress and growth, but they differ in how to achieve those ends. In Chinese culture, progress and growth are measured by following the principles and mandates of the Way; in Sumerian culture, by achievement and legacy.
The characters of Gilgamesh and Job are heroes in the sense that they sacrifice their own well beings for the good of society. Both characters help contribute to the epic tales that were passed down from generation to generation and gave members of society a sense of understanding especially when it comes to death. Gilgamesh, human son of the Goddess Ninsun and King Lugalbanda, was named the 5th king of Uruk in Mesopotamia around 2700 BCE, and reined for 126 years. He was also referred to as the great builder of temples and cities for his great wall around Uruk. Gilgamesh was strong, loyal, determined, and once his mind was made up there was no stopping him.
The Epic of Gilgamesh shows and describe the journey of a successful hero. Throughout his quest, Gilgamesh goes through a departure, initiation, and a return stage. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu sets out to go on the heroic journey to defeat Humbaba he experiences the first departure stage. The initiation stage occurred when Enkidu died and Gilgamesh started the second heroic journey searching for immortality. Gilgamesh search for immortality was beyond the initiation stage he searched for it through every quest and journey he encountered.
The Epic of Gilgamesh was written as a reminder to the people that the mortality of man should never change, because it is what defines humanity. However, in the world of The Epic of Gilgamesh, this does not seem to deter any who wish to break the cycle of life. Gilgamesh, distraught by the death of his companion, Enkidu, is overcome with the obsession of obtaining immortality, and goes along a journey to attain it. While on the journey of obtaining immortality, he faces many difficulties and warnings that should deter him away from doing so.
The Epic of Gilgamesh conveys numerous themes. Among those are the inevitability of death, the eminence of the gods, and strikingly the importance of love as an impetus. Love, defined in a consummate sense is intimacy, passion, and commitment. These traits are exemplified in Gilgamesh and Enkidu's relationship, and they are also implied between Enkidu and Sham hat. Despite the violent and abrasive nature of the happenings of this text, love is displayed blatantly throughout.
David Ferry, in his translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh explores the idea of change and how it affects people. Gilgamesh faces many challenges such as having to fight the Bull of Heaven, defeating Huwawa, suffering through his own friend’s death, and then eventually facing the ultimate test of seeking immortality. Through these journeys, Gilgamesh meets many new people, including himself. Interactions between people often teach one new lessons they would not have otherwise learned if they had not made those encounters before. Even before this, Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh any reward he wants for making the long and perilous journey for immortality.
The Rise and Fall of Hubris In essence, many of Mesopotamia’s tales focus on Gilgamesh’s epic. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem that portrays Gilgamesh’s journey, and ultimate aspiration for immortality despite the inevitability of death. The poem reveals his quest for a purpose and identity, which in turn can be perceived from many different aspects, ultimately molding his character in the epic. He perceives himself as two-thirds divine and one third man at the start of the tale, and progressively gains wisdom on his quest to conquer his aspirations of immortality, until he comes face to face with reality. His state of mind at the beginning of the epic, along with how it changes and matures, reveals the true heroes and villains of the story.
In ancient societies, literature often reflected the things that were most important to them. Somethings that no outside force can steal or take away. Ideas such as religion, history, and family. Literature also exhibited culture. What was written, such as trade, laws, and epics demonstrated order and harmony in ancient civilizations.
Without a prior ordinary world, Gilgamesh was born one third human and two third god. The goddesses made Gilgamesh strong and near perfect in order to become the King of Uruk. Gilgamesh impresses his people with his unusual abilities and strengthens by predicting the coming flood and building a magnificent wall around Uruk. However, Gilgamesh was not a kind king, he used his status immorally to rape any women he liked. Gilgamesh had a lot of powers, but he was not wise as he was not content with what he had, and attempted to live forever.
Because he is of the gods and valiant, Gilgamesh is greatly glorified as a true hero. In the beginning of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the narrator states, “ Gilgamesh, who is two-thirds god, and one-thirds man, is handsome, courageous and powerful (Sandars 139). Gilgamesh is immediately characterized as a great and powerful figure. He was known in Uruk for his heroism and pride, and had abilities and powers beyond imaginable. When the people became tired of Gilgamesh, the gods sent him a match.
Introduction In this paper, I will involve in exploring one trait of a hero in a nuanced and complex way. I will build this complexity by discussing two heroes who posses this trait, and one who does not. To illustrate, an epic hero is a character in the epic story or poem who is brave and noble. I will involve in exploring three heroes (Beowulf, Odysseus and Merry).