Oedipus Rex vs. Gilgamesh

Topics: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: May 31, 2005
'No two men are alike in the way they act, the way they think, or the way they look. However, every man has a little something from the other. Although Oedipus and Gilgamesh are entirely different people, they are still very similar. Each one, in their own way, is exceptionally brave, heroically tragic, and both encompass diverse strengths and weaknesses. One is strictly a victim of fate and the other is entirely responsible for his own plight. Out of the two men, Gilgamesh was far braver than Oedipus. He risked his life a number of times when he was in the company of his friend Enkidu. In addition, he risked his life following Enkidu's death whilst he went to uncover the secret of life and death to save Enkidu. Gilgamesh believed that he could do anything, "Gilgamesh, who feared nothing, might have been expected to say, `then it's I who will go out and subdue him [Enkidu] and bring him captive to the city'"(Bryson, 5). Gilgamesh would have fought any monster or conquered any feat that stood in his way. Following the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh was determined to unearth the secret of life and death to bring his friend back from the afterlife. He had to cross many dangerous paths which "no one who [was] alive [could] cross..." however, he never gave up and finally reached Enkidu. Both men had tragic outcomes; however, Oedipus' ending was by far the most heartrending. The tragedy of him being a "son, And a husband, to the woman who bore him; father-killer, And father-supplanter" (Sophocles, 38) is by far inferior to Gilgamesh losing a friend to the afterlife. Oedipus was a victim of fate; he wasn't able to control what his conclusion was. Oedipus' tragedy led him, not to want to die, but to live in total emptiness. "I would not rest Till I had poisoned up this body of shame In total blankness. For the mind to dwell Beyond the reach of pain, were peace indeed (Sophocles, 64)." His pain was so immense that even death was too superior for him. He chose to remove his...
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