Similarities Between Gilgamesh And The Iliad

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Silvy Elsa Mathew Hum 120 3/1/18 Paper 1 - The Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer’s Iliad The two main oldest epic tales in the world, ‘Epic of the Gilgamesh’ and Homer’s ‘Iliad’ deals with many significant issues that pose a meaning in the life of an individual and communities. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written 1500 years before Homer wrote the Iliad. It tells the story of mighty hero Gilgamesh, the hero king of Uruk, and his adventures. The Iliad is an epic poem written in the mid-8th Century BCE. It describes the main events in the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy. The wrath of Achilles, themes of glory and fate are portrayed in the subject matter of the epic. The central message in the epic o f Gilgamesh…show more content…
The main similarity can be drawn between the characters, that is Gilgamesh and Achilles of Homer. Both of them were mighty warriors and were partly human and divine. They both went in search of immortality after the deaths of Enkidu and Patroclus. Also they were both sons of goddesses and men. Since they were partly human, they have mortality. They also have similarities in their personal life. As they do not give importance to family life and any romantic relationships. But they give importance to friendship because Gilgamesh mourns for Enkidu after his death. Similarly Achilles also feel bad for Patroclus death. “Priam huddled at Achilles’ feet aloud for Hector, and Achilles wept for his father, and then again or Patroclus”. The other similar characters in both the works are Patroclus and Enkidu, who were uncivilized and died for the fame of their leaders. The similarities between the themes of both these works like mortality, friendship and religion. The importance of the theme of friendship is seen in the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh and Patroclus and Achilles. Another similarity is in the main theme of both these works. Both the characters of Gilgamesh and Achilles have the weakness of mortality. Since they are sons of mortal men, they couldn’t accept the reality o0f mortality. So they both went in search of immortality and becoming a complete…show more content…
But still there are certain differences that can be drawn between them. The epic of Gilgamesh depicts the Sumerian culture and on the other hand iliad poem is set in ancient Greek culture. Even though they both grieve for the loss of their best friends, the main contrast is in how they react with this loss. Both Achilles and Gilgamesh were worried about the mortality and did not wanted to die at once in their life. However, later in life Achilles accepts his fat and realized the fact that death is inevitable. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, fears death. Also, Achilles believed that it death is not worthy as dying with glory in a battle, while Gilgamesh always fears death as he thought it will not let him find the glory in battle. Another difference is the way in which they both depict the women in the stories. In Gilgamesh, Shamash, a temple prostitute is introduced and sent to sleep with Enkidu. Later then he was no longer accepted by the wild animals and he joined civilization in the city of Uruk. But Shamash, who is singled out and protected by a god is blessed by Enkidu. “Woman I promise you another destiny.The mouth which curse shall bless you”.Even a prostitute woman is given much praise and position in the story of Gilgamesh. In the Iliad, the common women are rarely mentioned and are not given a positive credit. The only common women mentioned in the book is about the prize
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