The Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh

Topics: Odyssey, Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic poetry Pages: 3 (848 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh

(Similarities and Differences)

Both The Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh are two incredible stories written long ago everyone knows this but what a lot of people don't is that these two epics share many of the same concepts. Such as the nostro (the Greek term for homecoming), xenis (guest/host relationship), oikos (household), and aganoriss (recognition). In both epics these themes are illustrated.

In The Odyssey the theme of nostro is very prevalent in this epic. Basically the whole story is based around this concept. The main character Odysseus whole goal in the book is his homecoming. Along his journey he faces many challenges separating him from his home Ithaca and his family. The main thing that keeps Odysseus going is the thought of one day being home with his family no matter how many set backs he faces.

In The Epic of Gilgamesh the theme of nostro is more or less established the only difference between the two epics is nostro is not the main focus in this one. The main character in this epic is the great and powerful king Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is not affected by the theme of homecoming until the end of the book after his best friend Enkidu is killed by the Bull of Heaven and he goes looking for eternal life. Unfortunately he is not successful in his quest and realizes he is mortal and realizes how important his family is and returns to Uruk to be with them.

The next theme that is incorporated into the Odyssey is the theme xenis. This theme is also well incorporated into this epic. It seems wherever Odysseus goes he is welcomed with open arms. For example when he arrives in Scheria the home of the Phaeacians the princess Nausicaa and her handmaidens bath him and take him to the palace of king Alcinous where he is invited to a banquet. This is very important in his successes after all without the help from all these people he would not be able to make it home. The...
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