Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odysseys

Topics: Iliad, Odyssey, Achilles Pages: 1 (443 words) Published: May 12, 2013
The four characters; Gilgamesh and Enkidu from Epic of Gilgamesh, and Achilles and Patroclus from The Odysseys have similar things. Achilles and Gilgamesh have some very basic similarities of their positions in life. Each is the son of a goddess and amoral man, a king, who happens to be far away from the action in the epic. Gilgamesh is described as two-thirds god and one-third human, which makes him as a special character that exists in two worlds, which is the divine world and the mortal world (Gilgamesh 1.145). Achilles as the son of Thetis has a special relationship that allows him to communicate with other gods, by power of “Thetis’s favor in the eyes of Zeus”. Both characters are headstrong warriors; the epics do relate their preeminence in battle. Neither man is concerned with family life nor with romantic relationships with women, such things have no place in the epic hero’s life. The major relationships in each hero’s life are with their mother, to whom they look for advice and protection, and with their heroic partner. It is from these relationships they gain the most wisdom and development. The characters Enkidu and Patroclus are outwardly similar, static sidemen, although they perish in different ways, it is primarily their deaths that mold the lasting character and fame of their leader. Enkidu does develop more than Patroclus, and this may mean that he is a more complex character, or it may mean that the background and character of Patroclus was simply well-known in the epic tradition and the necessity to explicitly develop him in the Iliad, which is extant that did not exist. Enkidu is more satisfying. He was created by the gods as a rival to Gilgamesh, and is thus younger. Gilgamesh was terrifying his subjects and the gods created Enkidu to “be a match for the storm of his heart…so Uruk may be rested”(Gilgamesh 1.98 - 100) Enkidu lives in the wild, uncivilized, and runs with the beasts. On the other hand, Patroclus comes to Phthia with his father...
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