Comparison and Contrast: Beowulf and Gilgamesh
Epics have been around for years as people searched for different treasures. The oldest epics talked about would be Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Both characters Beowulf and Gilgamesh are out on a mission, Gilgamesh seeking eternal life, and Beowulf seeking glory. Although many may think they Beowulf was a hero, he really wasn‘t. On the other hand Gilgamesh was a true hero. Beowulf just wanted to be noticed and to have it said he’d done something. Although Gilgamesh was a story told to by the Sumerian city of Uruk, now located in central Iraq, Gilgamesh was an actual person, a king rather. Beowulf wasn’t a real person or story only an epic that was retold and passed on in comparison to Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu only went into the woods to chop down a cedar tree, but was there was the monster Humbaba that was disturbed and attacked. Enkidu became trapped and Gilgamesh saved him by choppin off it’s head and hanging it to blow in the wind.
Beowulf’s mission was fairly different. As the monster Grendel was terrorizing Herot, Beowulf sets out to help Hrothgar. It can be suggested that Beowulf is seeking fame and glory that will, in a sense, give him eternal life. Beowulf, before fighting Grendel's mother, proclaims, "Each of us will come to the end of this life on earth; he who can earn it should fight for the glory of his name; fame after death is the noblest of goals." After cutting off Grendel's claw and head he pursues the monster to make sure that he is dead, and when Grendel's mother seeks revenge he doesn’t hesitate to fight her. He originally sets out to help Hrothgar and does not intend to leave the quest unfinished. Again, near death, he thanks God for all the treasure and requests to have his tomb at the water's edge, so sailors can see it and remember it as 'Beowulf's tower.'
Beowulf is very irrational and inconsiderate as well as greedy and superficial. The true reason why he sets out to...
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