There are many similarities and differences between Achilles and Gilgamesh. He was the most powerful hero that fought in the Trojan War. Achilles went into the Trojan War willingly; no one had forced him, and he most definitely went into it out of rage. He followed the steps of a Hero’s Journey very accordingly. Achilles’ rage put him through a war where he acquired what was important to
most heroes, self honor. The characteristics of Achilles are very similar to the characteristics of Gilgamesh. They were both very powerful, god – like, and they both carried a lot of pride.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, going into any battle, you are entering a threshold of adventure. The element is unknown and it is taking a huge risk. With that being said, they both went into battle voluntarily. Both Gilgamesh and Achilles had a prize that they desired, or something they wanted to seize from the battles. The only difference between the two is they had different things they wanted to obtain. Gilgamesh was looking for immortality while Achilles wanted self honor.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As each journey continues, they both acquire a new friend who they become very close to. The death of both of their friends devastates Achilles and Gilgamesh. The death of someone who was very dear to them completely changes their point of view. For Achilles, he cried in sorrow, and wanted to seek revenge. For Gilgamesh, he also cried, but went on a journey to seek immortality. For both of them, it took a death of their closest friend to determine the next stages of their lives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another similarity between the two is they both are tested of their capabilities. In The Iliad, Apollo sends a plague that wipes out a large number of soldiers in the Greek camp. Likewise, in Gilgamesh, the bull of Heaven was sent for him to battle. They were both sent something, and it was a test to see if they could get through it. This is the depth of their journeys.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although there are many similarities, there are many differences as well. Gilgamesh encounters a shadow figure. In his journey, he reaches the gatekeepers that deny him entry through the gates. In The Iliad, Achilles does not encounter a shadow figure. Another difference is Achilles</p>
Epic Heroes: Gilgamesh And Achilles Essay
From the days of ancient Greece and before, epic heroes have had their lives chronicled and their stories passed on from generation to generation all the way to present day. Two of the greatest heroes have been Gilgamesh from the epic named after him and Achilles from Homer's Iliad. While the two men's stories transpired in vastly different eras, their lives shared a surprising number of commonalities. Of course, with resemblances come several discrepancies in the way they lived and the ideals they believed in.
The first aspect that exemplifies both Gilgamesh's and Achilles' similarities and differences is divinity. Both Gilgamesh and Achilles are the sons of divine mothers. Gilgamesh, two-thirds divine and one-third mortal, is the son of Ninsun. His divine blood has lent him unmatched strength and skill as a warrior. However, instead of using his fortune in a noble manner, Gilgamesh acts as if he is a full god, ignorant to the consequences of his actions and how this portrayed his character to his people. "By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher... lets no daughter go free to her mother... lets no girl go free to her bridegroom." (George, 169-175). This ultimately caused the people of Uruk to pray to the gods to send a response to Gilgamesh's rule, which will be discussed later.
Achilles, son of Thetis, also had divine blood flowing through his veins. He, however, was well aware of his mortality, as he chose a shortened lifespan full of glory over a longer, non-glorious life. "Alas, that you should be at once short of life and long of sorrow above your peers," exclaims his mother. (Butler, I). Despite accepting his mortality, Achilles, like Gilgamesh, was blessed with unequaled strength and skill as the gods watched over him, making him a valuable asset to whomever he fought for as well as earning him the respect of both friend and foe, unlike Gilgamesh who was respected out of formality for his status but still despised by his subjects for the way he ruled.
Both Gilgamesh and Achilles made friends throughout their lifetimes that were like brothers and played a vital role in each hero's life. In response to the people of Uruk's prayers and complaints, the god Anu had his daughter Aruru create Enkidu, a man of the wild, to be Gilgamesh's equivalent. However, instead of becoming a worthy adversary, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become best friends after their first encounter. Having found a worthy companion, Gilgamesh also found an alternative to his cruel rule as the two friends joined each other to accomplish heroic feats on their path to glory.
Achilles also found a companion that had an immense impact on his life. Patroclus met Achilles after seeking refuge in the house of Peleus, which is strikingly different from how Enkidu was sent from heaven to be Gilgamesh's adversary. Regardless of how they met, it was this friendship that carried Achilles and Patroclus in the Trojan War just as the friendship between...
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