Ekin Selin Arslan
In order to discuss, I have selected two themes common in our books; women and fate. I will discuss women regarding books “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, “The Iliad” , “The Republic” and I will discuss fate regarding books “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, “The Iliad” and “Oedipus the King”.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
We see women in Gilgamesh in two opposite roles; object and power. Throughout the plot (especially at the two first tablets) Gilgamesh does not see women as an individual but toy for his pleasures. (Object) Ex. First he after the bridegrooms couple with their wifes. (Tablet II pg.15) He consults his mother Ninsun; listens and do her words. (Power) Ex. “ Come, my friend, let us go to the Palace Sublime, into the presence of the Great Queen Ninsun. Ninsun is clever and wise, well versed in everything, she will set our feet in steps of good counsel.” (Tablet III pg. 23) Ishtar is a powerful character in the story. Her beauty provokes the men and her power threats kings. (Power) Ex. Her rage to Gilgamesh sends the Wild Bull of Heaven to Uruk. “ The goddess Ishtar heard these words, she went up to heaven in a furious rage. … ‘Father, give me, please, the Bull of Heaven, so this dwelling I may slay Gilgamesh!’” (Tablet VI pg.50)
We see women in three different roles; object, love and power. They give women as a war prize like valued stone or trophy. (object) Ex. Chryseis and Bryseis has given to Agamemnon and Achilles as a reward for their victory. “… You are all witness, look – my prize is snatched away!” (pg 81, line140) Eventhough some of them see women as a prize there are also Achean men that care about their women. (Love) Ex. In Book IX, for the first time we see women as loved and desired ones. We see Achilles talk about Briseis and say that “I loved that woman with all my heart, though I won her like a trophy with my spear…” (pg. 263 line 416) and he talks about relationships...
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