Theme Of Pride In The Iliad And The Odyssey

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The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic works. The main characters, Gilgamesh, Achilles and Odysseus, from the three legends portray excessive pride as seen in the poems. Their extreme pride trait makes them arrogant, as a result, they can hardly handle any situation correctly with honor, as required. In all the three epics, pride is depicted as a destructive force that not only destroys the individual but the whole society. Gilgamesh is the main character in The Epic of Gilgamesh. His pride is depicted in various instances in the poem. He is not afraid of his death simply because he sees himself have achieved a lot including the murder of Humbaba. The following quote said by Gilgamesh shows his excessive pride. “I will go before you; you can call out to me, “Go on, be not afraid!” If I fall on the way, I’ll establish my name: “Gilgamesh, who joined battle with fierce Humbaba” they’ll say.” (70. 181-184). Gilgamesh’s killing of Humbaba had its circumstances, for instance, the quest of pride and fame resulted in Enkidu’s death. However, Gilgamesh does not learn his lesson and kept on using the situation to brag. In an encounter with the tavern-keeper, he told him: "I am Gilgamesh, who killed the guardian, who seized and killed the Bull that came down from heaven, who felled Humbaba who dwelt in the forest of cedars, who killed lions at the mountain passes" (96. 22-25). His excessive pride leads him to pursue a quest for immortality, which also generated

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