Gilgamesh and Ramayana

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An Epic Definition There was a time when gods and demons roamed the earth. A time when humanity lived at the mercy of divine beings, who executed their wills against the humans, following their own selfish desires and placing humans in a position of piety to these dominant beings. This time on earth is one of great men who fought against these demigods, giving them great fame passed on as stories in the oral tradition. Though it is unrealistic to believe that these men truly fought against divine beings, their stories played a role in the ancient world, which was the beginning of the formation of society and civilization. The epics of “Gilgamesh” and “The Ramayana of Valmiki” both served their societies as an outline of a moral code, defined the role of a hero, and instilled the belief of the fallibility of man, no matter how great. One of the defining characteristics of a society is the possession of rules or moral code that individuals are expected to abide by. Today the majority of the societies of the world base their moral code on religious teachings from the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the teachings of Confucius. The most well known set of rules to the Western world is the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament, detailing actions that are outlawed and the expectation of consequences for partaking in such behavior. Ancient civilizations needed to possess the same idea of rules and moral code in order to keep the population from existing in a state of anarchy, this is where the epic narratives found their value, and they were the first sources of moral expectations. The character of Gilgamesh is portrayed as a mighty individual, capable of defeating any opponent. Unfortunately, Gilgamesh understood his unequaled power and took advantage of it, leaving “no girl to her mother! / The warrior’s daughter, the young man’s spouse” (I.73-74), meaning he would take privileges with the females of the city. The citizens of Uruk complained to

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