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Gilgamesh and God
The cultures of ancient times were often dominated by the religious system and religious ideology of the populous. Many stories from ancient cultures define how that culture viewed those in power, either secular power such as their king or religious power such as their deity. Often, the two types of authority were combined so that the king was in some way descended or connected to their god or gods. The religious aspect of the Mesopotamian culture had a heavy impact on the way the civilization functioned. Each person was expected to believe in the god or gods of the majority population as well as to have a personal god to whom the individual would dedicate all their actions and to whom they would appeal in all things (Jacobsen 1976,-page 159). The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of a Sumerian king who was so powerful that he…… [Read More]
The character Gilgamesh from the Epic of Gilgamesh produced controversies regarding the real character that might have inspired the writer for this epic poem. The historical records that could provide the evidence to sustain the theory that Gilgamesh was a real Sumerian king are scarce. One of the sources to support the theory of a real king is provided by the Sumerian manuscript that is thought to have been created at around 1900 BC that list of Sumerian and Akkadian kings in ancient times. According to this list, Gilgamesh was a king from the Uruk dynasty that gave twelve kings.
Stories about the king Gilgamesh and the ancient city of Uruk have circulated before the actual epic that is translated today was written on the clay tablets that archeologists discovered in the nineteenth century. Historical evidence does not come only from historical records and archaeological sites. Literature can also…… [Read More]
Whereas the perception and description of Gilgamesh changed from rash individualism to a more hesitant and socially conscious figure, the perception of Odysseus -- along with the other Greek heroes -- changed from the rather unflattering view that historical records took of him and became a more important individual with great heroic qualities. This reflects the differences both in the societies and the times and situations that produced both the standardized Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer's the Iliad; the former celebrated the growing social consciousness of its hero, and the latter celebrated the greater individual achievements as a way of singling out individuals.
There are also some qualities of heroism that are common to Odysseus and Gilgamesh in most of the accounts regarding them. According to renowned historian Will Durant, the basic standards of male heroism during the hunting stage and in early civilizations were "acquisitiveness, pugnacity, and ready sexuality"…… [Read More]
184-98). Nonetheless, the reason for the flood is never ultimately elucidated, and even the gods themselves admit that whatever the original reason, flooding the entire world was probably an overreaction. Thus, Enlil's granting of immortality to Utanapishtim may be seen as the recompense he must pay for having caused so much destruction; having taken the lives of most of humanity, Enlil must now give the remaining representatives of humanity, Utanapishtim and his wife, eternal life. At the same time that the story is lowering the status of the gods by including the scene of Enlil's humiliation, the narrative uses Gilgamesh's inability to attain immortality, either through divine intervention or the plant recommended by Utanapishtim, as a means of actually highlighting human's ability to remain nonetheless. Though Gilgamesh is thwarted in his attempts to live forever, he is ultimately comforted by the city of Uruk, instructing Ur-Shanabi to walk through the…… [Read More]
In the Old Testament, Eden appears as a lush tropical rainforest full of fruit and life. In other words, it is presented as an image of perfection. In the Old Testament, the character of Cain is said to have a mark on him. This mark signifies his breaking of the covenant with God by committing the first murder. In the story of Job, Job suffers by losing everything, from food to family. The purpose of this suffering is to test Job's love and trust in God.
The Odyssey: The events that are of most importance in the Odyssey are the travels of Odysseus and his reestablishment as the rightful ruler. This theme of Odysseus takes up where the Iliad left off and thus completes the tale of Odysseus' journey in war, his battle back home, and his eventual homecoming. The fact that the women in Homer's works often play a…… [Read More]
Similar to many other initiation myths, Gilgamesh has to overcome obstacles such as the scorpion monsters that bar his way.
The intense desire that Gilgamesh has to find the answer to eternal life is shown in the poem by the fact that he rejects the advice of Siduri to accept the limitations of the human condition. He also has to travel over the Waters of Death. When he meets Utnapishtim he is told the story of the flood and the decision of the gods to destroy mankind, and how Utnapishtim obtained everlasting life.
Utnapishtim makes Gilgamesh undergo certain tests in order to obtain the gift of immortality. However Gilgamesh fails the test to stay awake for a week. As he is departing, Utnapishtim's wife persuades her husband to tell Gilgamesh about a certain plant that restores youth. Gilgamesh takes the plant with him to share with others in Uruk. However…… [Read More]
It is obvious that there had been little materials available for the two characters to use at the time in order for them to glue their boats.
The fact that Noah and Utnapishtim take their families and their livestock to their boats with them is not surprising, since it is the first thing that a person in their position would be expected to do in case of a flood. Noah proves to be gentler than Utnapishtim, as he does not want his neighbors to perish as a result of the flood. The Babylonian character apparently is more practical, as he also takes a pilot and several skilled workers on his boat.
In spite of the fact that Noah and Utnapishtim have their boats rest on top of mountains at the ending of the flood, the two boats do not rest on top of the same mountain. hile the Biblical Flood…… [Read More]
At length, Anu releases the Bull of Heaven and Gilgamesh and Enkidu fight it as they have every other obstacle that has come their way. The hero and his friend represent the power of brute strength in taming wild nature. The Bull is "nature" at its worst, destructive and terrible. As the Bull was brought into being at Ishtar's behest, it is clear, once again, that she stands for the unbridled passions that lurk beneath the surface of cultured society. Gilgamesh and Enkidu attack the Bull as they would any dangerous animal:
After they had killed the bull they tore out his heart.
They set it before Shamash.
They withdrew and worshipped Shamash.
They sat down, blood-brothers, the two of them.
The heart symbolizes the seat of passion and of the soul. The Bull is not merely killed in the physical sense - it is dismembered and deprived of…… [Read More]
Gilgamesh epic, 2000 B.C., is a work of three thousand lines, written on twelve tablets that was discovered amid the ruins of Nineveh and relates the adventures of the imperious Glgamesh and his friend Enkidu (Gilgamesh pp). The extraordinary essence of the poem lies not only in its antiquity but also in the quality of the writing and the comprehension of humanity (Jager pp).
The Gilgamesh Epic, the first epic bequeathed to history that antedates the Iliad and the Odyssey by more than a millennium, is of superb literary quality, and "the philosophical intricacy and the psychological depth" of this ancient work is truly remarkable and unequaled in quality and depth (Jager pp). Bernd Jager explains that unlike the gradual developments in other cultural endeavors such as pottery and weaving, "poetry seems to have sprung to life complete in all respects ... Even the oldest fragments of the Gilgamesh poem…… [Read More]
This is quite valuable in his culture, because he is a leader to his people, and he is leading them to a new home, but to a new faith as well. Defying Satan shows that he is a man to be reckoned with, and a man to follow. Both men are strong, capable leaders and good men, but one believes in God, and the other believes in many gods, which may be the biggest difference between them. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, is a king, and his powers seem to come more from himself and the Gods of his time, helping him defeat evil monsters, much like Moses can turn away Satan. This is also valuable in his culture, because Gilgamesh lived long before Moses, and his culture worshipped many gods and believed in many monster beings - they needed a leader they believed could keep them in harmony with…… [Read More]
The story of Gilgamesh is one of the first epic poems ever written. Not surprisingly, it parallels a number of other creation myths, particularly in its references to a great flood which cleansed the earth. Such a flood can be found not only in the Sumarian and Babylonian tradition in which Gilgamesh was composed, but also in various Chinese and Indian (from the country of India, not Native Americans) creation myths as well.
It is fairly obvious that the flood story chronicled in Gilgamesh bears a striking number of similarities to the flood story told within the Bible in the Book of Genesis. In this latter tale, Noah is told by God that due to the wickedness taking place throughout the earth, he is going to destroy the entire world and everything in it to make way for a new race of people -- except for Noah and his…… [Read More]
However, the Egyptians worshipped many Gods, all of which ruled the earth and determined man's fate and destiny. According to Don Nardo, the Egyptians appreciated "the goodness of order (and) justice... embodied in the movement of the god e (which) regulated Egyptian lives" (2002, p. 129).
Definitions of Justice:
For the Hebrews, justice was solely in the hands of God and could be meted out only according to His laws and commandments. For the Mesopotamians, justice was determined by the Kings of the land, such as Sargon, and was defined by the Code of Hammurabi which listed penalties for certain crimes which formed the basis of justice for the Mesopotamian people. For the Egyptians, justice was solely determined by the Pharaoh who sought guidance from the Gods in order to convey what was just and unjust. Basically, all of these civilizations defined justice as that which pleased the Gods.
Human…… [Read More]
" (97). However, as both Utnapishtim and Siduri (the tavern keeper Gilgamesh meets on his journey) stress, and Gilgamesh eventually embraces "death is inevitable…" (107-108). "When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man." ([OBV] 151). So, to look for immortality in life is to waste life entirely.
When Gilgamesh asks Utnapishtim, at the ends of the Earth, for the secret to eternal life, Utnapishtim explains to Gilgamesh that from the days of old there is no permanence. But he reveals the mystery of his…… [Read More]
Gilgamesh the King
Gilgamesh is properly the oldest written and most widely read ancient stories. The man, his desires and achievements have been discussed several times by several different authors, thereby immortalizing the king. Interestingly this was what the king had always dreamed of- to become immortal and his quest for a life devoid of death turned him into a more considerate, compassionate and just ruler. In this paper we shall therefore discuss Gilgamesh's quest for immortality and whether or not he finally managed achieve it.
Background of Gilgamesh's quest
Gilgamesh was not born with a desire to live forever but one major event turned his life upside down generating in him an intense fear of death. Being a god-like figure, Gilgamesh was widely feared because of his despotic and rather ruthless style of governing the country. He was king of Uruk and was born to a mortal and a…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart and Gilgamesh
Despite being conceived and written during distinctly different eras in human history, both Chinua Achebe's modern indictment of colonial conquest in Africa Things Fall Apart, and the anonymously authored tale of legendary heroism The Epic of Gilgamesh share the common thread of a protagonist struggling to reconcile personal expectations with the rapidly changing world around him. One of the earliest known surviving examples of ancient literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the sprawling story of a hero-king reigning over the land of Uruk, using a beautifully poetic structure and style to tell of Gilgamesh and his tempestuous style of rule. The narrative structure of Things Fall Apart centers on Okonkwo, the respected leader of his small Umuofia clan during a time of intense cultural upheaval, who struggles to maintain his sense of authority, and ultimately his people's very identity. hile the characters of Gilgamesh and…… [Read More]
Epic Heroes - Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey
Throughout the ages, mankind has had many individuals who have been an inspiration for people, throughout their life time. These individuals have portrayed qualities that have been seen as many as the ideal qualities a person must possess in order to become a hero in the eyes of the larger public. In a true definition of the term 'hero', a hero is any person, who is a role model for other people around him, who stands up for the right and just causes against the evil forces while risking his own life in order to ascertain the safety of the public, who does not seek any personal reward and has no personal agenda but chooses to help the people in the society for their rights to justice and peaceful life at all times. Accordingly, a hero has to be someone who…… [Read More]
character in Gilgamesh undertakes a journey which is more than a trip from one place to another. This kind of journey is a quest, a quest for self. Gilgamesh is trying to learn who he is and to understand his place in the world, and this is the quest he begins, a quest that takes him far and that takes a lot of time to complete. The physical journey he takes is only the visible part of the quest, while the main part is internal, a journey into his own soul to find himself.
The time of the story is one in which human beings felt close to the gods and felt that the gods intervened in their lives. Gilgamesh is a ruler who is considered to be too devoted to war, and the gods hear the lament of the people and send their own created hero, Enkidu, to do…… [Read More]
Analysis of The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the few great literatures that survived the ruin of ancient civilizations, more particularly the ancient Mesopotamia. It is a poem that tells the story of two great heroes, friendship, adventure, and the gods. Comprised of twelves tablets, each depicting a section of the overall tale, the Epic of Gilgamesh exists in various versions—with the Akkadian and Old Babylonian versions being the most prominent. This essay considers various parts of the Epic and seeks to examine/illustrate a few details about the heroes “Gilgamesh and Enkidu”, their relationship, the actions of the gods, and the overall significance of this Epic—as regarding its depiction of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu
Gilgamesh was the first character, of the two, to be introduced. In the introduction, Gilgamesh was described as one who had exceptional qualities that transcends that of…… [Read More]
3. What are some of the themes you notice in the "Love Songs"?
The Egyptian love songs use the terms "brother" and "sister" as generic references to male and female lovers and suggest intimacy as well as the taboo of incest. Brother-sister unions were already written into Egyptian mythology by the time the love songs were penned. Also, the love songs reveal an emerging theme of romantic love, which almost seems out of place in ancient literature.
4. Did the erotic or explicit nature of some of the love songs surprise you? Explain.
The eroticism in the love songs is not wholly surprising, given that many ancient cultures addressed human sexuality frankly and even using graphic depictions. The Egyptians also employed some sexual imagery into their art, as did the ancient Indians and Chinese.
1. In what ways is the Hebrew view of God different from the Sumerian…… [Read More]
No longer certain of his greatness, now that he knows he can die, he embarks upon a quest that does not yield him the answer he is seeking, but brings him wisdom and understanding. Gilgamesh's heroic struggle for knowledge is a classic depiction of the heroic quest of death and rebirth ("Heroic quest cycle," 2005). The underworld, as it is portrayed in Gilgamesh, is a dark and terrible place, a place from which all individuals shy away from -- but Gilgamesh finds it within himself to accept what Enkidu and eventually he will become after death. Radical acceptance of the cyclical processes of life, rather than resistance is the only answer. Befriending Enkidu leads Gilgamesh on a path to true knowledge, in a way that is far more profound than winning a physical contest.
Kirk, G.S. Myth: its meaning and functions in ancient and other cultures. CUP Archive,…… [Read More]
Since Gilgamesh, who hails from estern civilization, has only one life to live, and presumably that one life is very precious to him, he is far more likely to have his companions fight his battle(s) for him, far more likely to place them in immediate danger, and far more likely to think first of saving his own skin than does that of Monkey. Monkey, hailing from the Eastern tradition, loves to jump into the fray, bravely fighting his adversaries and leading his companions into the midst of challenges that Gilgamesh seems totally afraid to confront.
hile Monkey is maniacally fighting the demons, monsters and gods placed before him (usually taking on the role of instigator), Gilgamesh is hiding from Humbaba the Terrible in the Cedar Forest. He does not actually fight the guardian of the forest until his traveling companion exhorts him to be brave.
Though each hero approaches his…… [Read More]
Dante, Sophocles, Gilgamesh REVISED
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Dante's Inferno and Sophocles Oedipus the King are all classic and foundational estern texts which depict, en passant, the importance of humankind's demand to know, to explore and penetrate the unknown, to arrive at ultimate truths about existence and its mysteries, and to find meaning or value therein. I hope to demonstrate with reference to specific episodes -- that of Utnapishtim in Gilgamesh, of the episode of Ulysses in Dante's Inferno, and in the great address to the protagonist hymned by the chorus of Sophocles' tragedy of Oedipus -- this complicated depiction of human intellectual overreach.
Dante provides us with the basic topos of this kind of overreach as a sort of failed heroism, or heroism that breaks forth the bounds of Aristotelian temperance (or sophrosyne) and becomes, paradoxically, a vice. (The Aristotelian definition of sin is central to Dante, since his…… [Read More]
They are stories based on guilt, because humankind is guilty, and has always been guilty of its actions and reactions, and flood stories indicate that eventually, humankind will have to pay for its wickedness and sins. it's not just a religious view, but a human view, because there is so much violence, hatred, and ugliness in the world, and people want to believe that somehow, the wicked and the hateful will pay for their crimes, eventually. I think the lesson is that humans can be very bad, and they recognize it, and understand that sooner or later, they will have to pay for that somehow. In this story, the flood serves another purpose - it gives Gilgamesh the ability to meet the survivor and see what it takes to survive a great catastrophe, knowledge that could serve him well later on.… [Read More]
He is a full grown hero who only needs a goal to set him on his journey. Gilgamesh is young and inexperienced, and he needs help to grow and mature throughout his journey, which he obtains from his dear friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh has many lessons to learn, and Odysseus learns too, but he is farther on the road to maturity, and so his journey leads him somewhere he already knows and is comfortable with, while Gilgamesh's journey takes him on uncharted territory, and he learns more about himself and the people around him on his journey.
In conclusion, these men are both heroic, but they show it in different ways and they have different heroic ideals. They are real heroes to be sure, but they are also real men, with the faults that only real men seem to have. Gilgamesh can be a violent boor with little regard for women…… [Read More]
Epic of Gilgamesh
In a time when natural disasters were the whims of the Gods, when hunger, disease, and death stalked ones life as surely as the wild beasts of the land, the epic poem of Gilgamesh found its way across the ancient landscape. It was unearthed as part of a library collected thousands of years before our time, yet "reflects an ancient range of human experience and emotion not so far removed from our own" (Jackson, xi). In a cultural context of nomadic life and city-states, ancient Iraqis worshipped numerous gods. Every aspect of their life depended upon the favor their gods bestowed. The Epic of Gilgamesh illustrates an understanding of the human spirit unbent by fickle gods and powerful kings. This is a story of human growth and acceptance for a difficult life and violent time in human history.
The ancient Iraqi society was "mostly illiterate," passing on…… [Read More]
However, because of Gilgamesh's thought that he may be invincible, he is actually putting his friend's life at risk by going on his adventure. In his attempt to prove that he is brave and that he would rather die for a cause, he actually indirectly causes the death of Enkidu, who shows that he was the stronger of the two.
5) Defining Honor
Honor is a characteristic that few individuals posses. It is a special type of distinguishing factor, that although many attempt to have, very few actually embrace it to its full meaning. Honor entails pride and personal excellence. It is fully believing in an action or an entity that represents something very important to the self and to those around. To me, honor is being able to stand up for your beliefs despite the opinion of others.
Honor in society can actually be viewed in two ways, depending…… [Read More]
Literary Characters in Exile
Exile can be the self-imposed banishment from one's home or given as a form of punishment. The end result of exile is solitude. Exile affords those in it for infinite reflection of themselves, their choices, and their lives in general. Three prominent literary characters experience exile as part of the overall narrative and in that, reveal a great deal about themselves to themselves as well as to the readers. The three narratives in questions are "The Epic of Gilgamesh," "The Tempest," and "Things Fall Apart." All of the main characters of these narratives experience exile as a result of actions taken by the protagonists at earlier points in the story. The protagonist in each respective story are exiled because of their choices and the exile forces each character to face consequences that ultimately bring their inner character to the surface in a more direct manner…… [Read More]
The fact that he believes in the gods differently than some of his neighbors seems to cause them to view his teachings as atheism. In the "Apology," Socrates says: "Some one will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong, acting the part of a good man or of a bad." This sense of pursuing goodness does not mean that Socrates believes he will necessarily have a better place in the afterlife. However, Socrates believes that to act morally is its own reward, not something that will win him favor in the eyes of…… [Read More]
It recounts the travails of Antigone, daughter of Oedipus the former king of Thebes, who disobeys King Creon in burying the body of her slain brother. She knows that she faces death for doing this, but insists that she does not care, saying "For whoso lives, as I, in many woes,
/ How can it be but death shall bring him gain? / And so for me to bear this doom of thine / Has nothing painful" (Arrowsmith, lines 508-12). Antigone does not see meaninglessness in death, but rather is willing to face death for the symbolic gesture of burying her brother. This illustrates her own tragic quest for truth; like Gilgamesh (and Creon), she is frustrated by the rules and order imposed by a mortal government, and feels that it pales in comparison to the divine moral laws such as those regarding the treatment of the dead and the…… [Read More]
In works of fiction, the hero's journey will always be fraught with danger. He will not only have to overcome his own shortcomings, but will also encounter individuals who hope to impede his journey and prevent him from accomplishing his goals or individuals who will help them overcome their obstacles and succeed. Literature throughout history and literature that transcends cultures exhibit this same proclivity. Each component of the hero's journey, beginning with his quest, his initiation into the situation which will lead to his development, his separation from his origin, and finally his transformation at the end of the story is heavily dictated by the attention and communication he receives from the other male character. The stories "Young Goodman Brown," The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and "The Legend of King Arthur" all show pairings of male characters, the protagonist and another male figure who either acts as an…… [Read More]
The use of physical suffering as a symbol for emotional and spiritual suffering is also well-known in the estern tradition. Centuries later, men and women would disappear into the desert in search of God. They would live apart from all human companionship, and deprive themselves of all physical comfort. Gilgamesh does the same. Gilgamesh is also like the lover who pines away for his beloved and wastes away in body, as well as in heart. The message is that the eternal truths of the universe are not easily discovered, and again that these truths are largely hidden from humankind. Humanity's lot is to suffer even in the face of our greatest happiness. Unlike the gods, we cannot know joy eternally. Enkidu was a dear friend, but he could not be by Gilgamesh' side forever. The joy and love that the hero had known were foreordained to be short. Even if…… [Read More]
Agamemnon claims that he loves Chryseis more than his own wife, but agrees to give her up as long as he gets another prize. hen he demands Briseis from Achilles, it is clear that one sexual being can simply be traded for another in Agamemnon's eyes. Indeed, when Achilles refuses to fight because of Agamemnon's demand, it is not because Achilles deeply loves Briseis, but because he is insulted with Agamemnon's demand. The only redeeming treatment of women in the epic is the Chryses' love for his daughter, determination in getting her back again, and excitement when his request is fulfilled.
hen compared to the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad often seems muted in references to women's sexuality, but it can be argued that the contents of this epic poem show women in a far worse place in society than women in Gilgamesh's epic. hile Gilgamesh's epic presents women as…… [Read More]
Your answer should be at least five sentences long.
The Legend of Arthur
Lesson 1 Journal Entry # 9 of 16
Journal Exercise 1.7A: Honor and Loyalty
1. Consider how Arthur's actions and personality agree with or challenge your definition of honor. Write a few sentences comparing your definition (from Journal 1.6A) with Arthur's actions and personality.
2. Write a brief paragraph explaining the importance or unimportance of loyalty in being honorable.
Lesson 1 Journal Entry # 10 of 16
Journal Exercise 1.7B: Combining Sentences
Complete the Practice Activity on page 202 of your text. After completing this activity, read over your Essay Assessment or another journal activity you've completed.
* Identify three passages that could be improved by combining two or more sentences with coordinating or subordinating conjunctions. Below the practice activity in your journal, write the original passages and the revised sentences you've created.
* Be sure to…… [Read More]
The fact that Lysistrata's "came to power" by virtue of her own leadership abilities which were recognized and celebrated by their peers rather than having them thrust upon her from above is pointed out by Ober (1989), who reports, "The Athenians' demonstrated concern with native intelligence, their distrust of elite education, and their respect for the authority of the elders are parodied by Aristophanes, who mimics rhetorical topoi in the speech of Lysistrata, the female demagogue:
Listen to my words
I am a woman, but I'm smart enough
Indeed, my mind's not bad at all.
Having listened to my father's discourses
And those of the older men, I'm not ill educated. (Lysistrata 1123-27 quoted in Ober at 182)
Indeed, Lysistrata's leadership qualities were clearly demonstrated in her ability to organize the women of Athens to show the warring men of the city just who in fact had "the power" suggests…… [Read More]
recurring themes in literature is the exploration of the relationship between the human and the divine. Several different literary works have explored that relationship. Interestingly enough, many of those works are from antiquity, so their stories are considered fictional. Others of those texts refer to living religions, so people are less likely to consider the stories from the basis of fiction or allegory, and approach them as if they are non-fiction. As a result, it becomes far too simple for a modern Christian to embrace the relationship between the divine and humanity in the Old Testament without critically examining that how that work actually portrays the relationship. A critical analysis reveals a much more complex relationship than the message conveyed by modern Christians, and makes it easier to compare that Old Testament with the polytheistic mythology that forms the background of a work like Gilgamesh. A religiously-invested inspection can hamper…… [Read More]
Those with issues to overcome are always more heroic. Hector also becomes a hero when, after at first running from Achilles, he eventually stands up to him and dies a heroic death.
The Iliad is primarily a war epic. In your opinion, is the Iliad condemnation of the it could easily be argued that the Illiad glorifies war, as much of the poem is spent portraying the warriors as brave and courageous, even as they go on killing rampages. Warriors are describes as "masters of the battle cry" and "warlike" in glowing epithets. When Achilles originally refused to fight, he is roundly condemned for it by all of the other Greek characters. Even the weapons of war, such as Achilles impenetrable shield, are glorified. But homer is more complicated than simple -- war also brings death, which he describes in great detail. Hector's death is perhaps the most graphic of…… [Read More]
Madam Eglantyne the Nun, is also an ironic charater. She eats in a very refined manner and attempts other fine characteristics such as speaking French, although she fares poorly at this. Ironically, not all her language is pure, as she swears cosntantly by "St. Loy," a saint renowned for not swearing. Unlike the general conception of the Nun, she is very concerned with outward appearances and did not much care for human beings. Indeed, she cared much more for her three dogs than the human beings around her. Another irony is that she has a coral trinket to fight worldly temptations, which is clearly failing badly.
A second character is the Friar, Hubert. While he is jolly, merry, and festive, his actions are nevertheless evil and cunning. He impregnates girls, for example, and marries them off. He deceived the faithful by hearing confessions for a fee, and even begged from…… [Read More]
On the other, Ophelia is the opposite of a classic hero. She is a young girl, merely a child, involved by accident in a guerrilla war against one of the greatest evils of modern times; the fascism combined with an authoritative regime. The trickster in this modern fiction does not become her friend, neither does he fight along with her. She has to fight her own battles and he is not even in the position to oversee any of her errors. She is an archetype herself. As soon as she takes her new born brother into her arms she becomes the mother who throws herself into the fire rather than throwing her offspring. It is embedded in her to act this way and the symbolism of her being a princess resides in the true nature of humanity.
Although del Toro's film could be reduced at the representation of the fight…… [Read More]
Either as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, mistresses, lovers or supernatural creatures, women populate the world of the Odyssey and bring thus an important source of information when it comes to finding parallels between their representations in real life as drawn from the representations they get in the Homeric epic.
Based on the same starting point as the Odyssey, another ancient author, the Roman irgil wrote the epic Aeneid. He lived in the most flourishing times of the Roman empire, in the first century BC, almost seven centuries after the Odyssey and the Iliad had probably been written. The heroes in irgil's epic are still men, but the women gain a new role: that of sounders and rulers. Analyzing the whole range of epics and poems written by ancient Greek and Latin writers, A.M. Keith points out that "classical Greek and Latin epic poetry was composed by men, consumed largely by…… [Read More]
Their sexual desire is as strong as their male counterparts, revealing much about the way women were viewed in ancient society. Women were not shown as chaste, innocent, or virginal. Prostitutes and single women both play major roles in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Odyssey. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a prostitute transforms Enkidu completely with her sexual prowess. The power of female sexuality is explored in Homer's Odyssey too. The war hero meets and lives with several women on his way home to Penelope. Odysseus seems uniquely able to seduce women and many fall deeply in love with him: especially Calypso and Circe. Calypso and Circe are independent, unmarried women with strong sex drives.
The titular hero of Gilgamesh seems more enraptured with his burly male friend than with the females he encounters. Gilgamesh is not motivated by the love of a woman, and unlike Odysseus is…… [Read More]
A OMPARISON BETWEEN
THE FLOOD MYTHS IN THE EPI OF GILGAMESH
AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS
The Biblical story of the Flood as found in the Book of Genesis contains many similarities to the Mesopotamian myth known as the Epic of Gilgamesh; in fact, it appears that the Biblical account as related by Noah, ca. 1400-1200 B..E., may have been entirely derived from the Epic of Gilgamesh, written some six hundred years earlier in 2000 B..E. when the so-called Flood Myths had their origins.
Among these similarities between the two ancient accounts is that the Gods were very displeased with how their creation, being Man, was behaving on Earth which served as the main impetus for destroying every living thing that breathed, swam or walked. In Genesis, chapter 6, verses 5-7, we find "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every…… [Read More]
However, neither is invincible. Beowulf meets a heroic demise when he fights the final dragon at the end of the epic. His death in no way diminishes the grandeur of his heroism. Another feature of the classic hero is their tendency to embark on lengthy journeys and quests to prove their merits, and Beowulf is no exception.
Similarly, Gilgamesh does not completely succeed in his quest for immortality. Gilgamesh does help kill beasts with the help of Enkidu. Enkidu also fits the archetype of the male hero: he is a powerful, seemingly super-human beast who dies before the epic is over. Yet his death does not spell his failure any more than Gilgamesh's mortality minimizes his great successes. Gilgamesh proves his heroism also by demonstrating the lessons he learned through the course of his adventures: coming to terms with mortality and finding love in his heart. Through loving Enkidu, Gilgamesh…… [Read More]
Storni, Alfonsina. "You ant Me hite." The Norton Anthology of orld
Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Mayard Mac. New York: Norton, 2002. 2124-2125
The poem titled "You ant Me hite" written by Alfonsina Storni explores the issue of women mistreatment by men. The women complain how men expect them to be virgins when they (men ) are not.
Atwood, Margaret and Martin, Valerie.The Handmaid's Tale . Anchor.1998
In this book the author portrays how women are only valued for their fertility and they are allowed access to education in the patriarch society. This work is important to the research since it shows how women were mistreated by being regarded as sex symbols as well as not being allowed access to education.
Staves, Susan. Married omen's Separate Property Rights in England, 1660(1833. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990.
This work is a recollection of the actual case studies and examples of various…… [Read More]
Yin and Yang in Literary Relationships
Yin and Yang in eastern philosophy constitute two parts of a whole. The one cannot exist without the other. They also represent perfect balance; if one dominates, the balance is disturbed and there is conflict. This idea can be applied to several literary relationships, including Adam and Eve from Milton's Paradise Lost and Gilgamesh and Enkidu from the epic Gilgamesh.
Adam and Eve
The Biblical Adam and Eve begin their lives in perfect wholeness and bliss. God makes them equal, they share everything and they lack nothing. Their love binds them in complete unity and balance. They are also bound together by their obedience and love for God.
The imbalance comes with the arrival of the snake. The snake tempts Eve away from what she knows is right. When she tempts Adam, there is an imbalance between the two of them and Adam attempts…… [Read More]
Yet, Odysseus is also rewarded for his loyalty and survives the Trojan War. His wit and intelligence provide a much different vision of an excellent hero than presented by Achilles. However, it is he who figures out how to end the lengthy war with the trick of the wooden horse. In the case of both heroes, it is not divine or monstrous adversaries that they face. Instead they fight a similar battle that Osiris did -- they must fight the greed and lust of mortal men. Although Agamemnon is their king, he is an adversary in that he forces them from their homes and places them and their men in danger for selfish greed and lust. However Agamemnon is later punished when he his murdered by his deceitful wife upon his return. Another human adversary faced by the heroes of the Iliad is Paris and his uncontrollable lust for Helen.…… [Read More]
However, the Gilgamesh myth is not simply about the flood. It also reflects specific values of understanding the impermanence of society and the capricious nature of the gods. As Gilgamesh learns to become a better man and a better leader, specific community values are expressed that may have been the concerns of Mesopotamian society, not simply the human consciousness, such as the need for a strong king and the capricious nature of a world where natural disasters and foreign invasions were common. The continued resonance of the Gilgamesh myth could suggest that the myth has a common, human resonance that transcends its specific and original concerns. But rather than demonstrating the evidence of the collective mythmaking unconscious, it might simply demonstrate the historical need for leadership at times of crisis, and frustrations with common natural disasters. This myth than became reinterpreted in other communities.
There are many stories of floods…… [Read More]
Fertile Crescent could be addressed as both a geographical location and as symbolic terminology. Ultimately, both options unite to refer to the region in the Middle East also identified as the cradle of civilization. Stretching in the shape of an arc from the Nile to the Tigris and Euphrates, the region encompasses an ancient fertile land which is said to have stood at the basis of man's evolution. Nature's contribution to the evolutionary steps of humanity was rendered indefinite which is why ancient rites sought to prevent and otherwise control the unpredictable forces. Personifying natural phenomenon enabled mankind's link to the divine forces. For the Sumerians, fertility was not ensured by one single god or goddess, rather it came about as a cooperative result of all the forces of nature. Fertility rites often encompassed sexual rituals which were sought to bring about fertility of the land. Sexuality thus was religiously…… [Read More]
Like so many of us, he feels that heaven has cursed him. The element of disgrace would mean that he has fallen out of favor with God. He feels that all of his efforts are "bootless" (useless). However, the skylark has risen above this, implying that by remembering his love, he will also rise above it.
This author used the example of heaven because it is universal. We all think about our mortality and want to make sure that our lives have meaning. Without it, we are lost and rudderless. However, like the skylark, love will help us rise above the situation and finally make our way through the troubles of life that we all have.
4) the issue of Jews, Judaism and the character of Shylock are famous and among the most examined aspects of the Merchant of Venice. The raise all sorts of questions about whether or not…… [Read More]
He stated that, "I mean printed works produced ostensibly to give children spontaneous pleasure and not primarily to teach them, nor solely to make them good, nor to keep them profitably quiet." (Darton 1932/1982:1) So here the quest is for the capture and promotion of children's imagination through stories and fables that please as well as enlighten. There is always the fallout that once a child learns to love to read he or she will read many more things with greater enthusiasm than before.
The children's literature genres developed in Mesopotamia and in Egypt over a roughly 1,500-year period - proverbs, fables, animal stories, debates, myths, instructions (wisdom literature), adventure and magic tales, school stories, hymns and poems - pass down to the Hebrews and the Greeks. The Old Testament owes much to both Mesopotamian and Egyptian literature (Adams 2004:230)
One can see that, as stated previously, children's literature is…… [Read More]
Pride in Literature
As a universally human characteristic, pride plays an important part in world literary themes. However, pride can be defined and perceived differently, and the term also has many different definitions. For example, pride can refer to a dignified type of satisfaction, as comes from taking pride in one's work. More often in literature, though, pride is depicted in a negative light and is usually featured as a tragic flaw that, if not overcome, brings about the hero's downfall. Moreover, the implications and meaning of pride in literature has changed over the course of time. Pride was portrayed as a necessary but dangerous trait of powerful leaders in the ancient epics of Greece and Mesopotamia like Gilgamesh, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. The trait of pride reached a sort of thematic culmination in the Old English work Beowulf, in which the title character's pride contributes positively to his…… [Read More]
Westopia: An Epic Narrative Describing the History of the West post-Reformation and the Rise of New Peoples and Places in Conflict with the Old
In anno domini 1650, the God of the West -- of the World -- was banned in Maryland. The Pure had come, had been given land, had found shelter under the Toleration Act -- yet acted with intolerance towards those who went to God with hearts much different from their own. The Pure were proud and firm -- like the Chosen People of the Old Testament -- the children of Abraham.
Millennia had passed and the children were grown -- enveloping within them some sense of the God of the West -- Christ Who redeemed them -- yet their sense was separate from that of the past: their doctrine was steeped in the predestinated forms of the Protestors -- of Luther and Zwingli and Knox and…… [Read More]
Indeed, the period now spanning the so-called Modern Era and the Industrial Revolution has been dependent upon humanity taming and turning nature to our own ends. This has led to a process whereby we downplay the natural world and of native peoples in general who live in a more harmonious fashion with their surrounding world. hile this process, especially during the Industrial Age, has led to dehumanization process and it has also led to a cheapening of human life in general as well. One can therefore see in New Age approaches to nature (and religion) that there is a hunger to rediscover an intra-natural balance that was lost in the last few centuries. By studying and internalizing these myths and their moral lessons, we can recapture this lost balance. The author compared these other approaches and built upon what we learned in class, especially by comparing and contrasting and them…… [Read More]
Ever since the time when the Muslims raided the city, it became obvious that Christians would lose their influence in the territory, even with the fact that the latter were given permission to keep most of their churches. During the years in which I stood witnessing the Christian population being assimilated into the more powerful Muslim population, I observed that people belonging to both religions came to the church to worship God. Regardless of their personal convictions, people were united through religion and through their dedication to believing in God.
The finances spent for building such an architectural colossus are surely mind-blowing, taking into account that the structure's magnitude expresses magnificence. However, because the Muslim population thrived during the period, it is not surprising that they were willing to support such a spending, especially given that they too were aware of the consequences such a building would have on their…… [Read More]
Science, Krieglestein says, attempts to explain chaos, and to the extent it cannot, it then ignores it (30). However, science is using the language it has in this moment, to explain chaos. Like the philosophers, Descarte and Kant, science relies upon its investigation in much the same was the philosophers rely upon nature and rationalism to convert chaos to order. That it is the nature, if not the universe, of mankind to gravitate towards order. This is man's obsession with chaos, to turn it into order.
One of the most recognized names in the history of philosophy is Plato. Dante Germino, Eric Voegelin (2000) shed some light on Plato's obsession with chaos and order, or philosophy, writing, "The motives that induced the young man of a well-connected family not to pursue his natural career in the politics of Athens but insteadto become a philosopher, the founder of a school, anda…… [Read More]
The first piece of literature that has endured over the years, the Epic of Gilgamesh, also testifies about the existence and consumption of beer, even attributing it the power to signify the civilization as opposed to the world of the beast that did not have any use of such drink. One of the heroes in the legend, Enkidu, is brought into the civilized world though the contact with a woman, consumption of beer and hygiene: "Enkidu's primitive nature is demonstrated by his lack of familiarity with bread and beer; but once he has consumed them, and then washed himself, he too becomes a human and is then ready to go to Uruk, the city ruled by Gilgamesh" (the History of the World in ix Glasses, p.27). The first recorded literary piece is linked with the largest city in Mesopotamia and the first alcoholic beverage to be used by humans at…… [Read More]
Dionysus allows Midas to have his wish knowing that it will soon be the worst thing he could have done as man cannot live by gold alone. For awhile Midas is a "happy man" (Ovid 263), surrounded by all of the gold but soon he begs to be rescued from "this loss / That looks so much like gain!" (263). e also see a tragedy with the story of Narcissus, who is so in love with himself that he falls in love with his own reflection in a pool as punishment for his cruelty. This might not seem like such a bad thing except for the fact that he is compelled to look at the reflection and never leave. In short, he "wanted himself" (70) and died while trying to kiss the image.
e see how the gods can inflict their wrath on individuals in Homer's The Iliad. hen Achilles…… [Read More]
It is his own acknowledgment of his glory and honor that allows him to stand as an example to future generations. Folk epics are not meant only to recall historical details, but also to inspire modern heroes; the world of Beowulf and the world for which it was written both required strong heroes who knew the honor and righteousness of their actions.
Beowulf is more than the story of a hero's life, journey and adventures, and death. It is the story of a type of person and a people that the author and original readers of Beowulf felt an intimate longing for. As a folk epic, the tale of Beowulf is meant to draw people together in a common history, and to inspire them to the same types of glory that the heroes of the past achieved. Its purpose is to achieve solidarity in the admiration of a common hero,…… [Read More]
These Gods subjugated humans in a way that never happened in other primitive river-valley cultures yet seemed to follow a political will as the concept evolved. This finally culminates in the marriage between the God of Above, Nergal, lord of Summer, Growth and Heat; and the Goodness of the Below, Ereshkigal, queen of the underworld, inter, the Cold, and of Death. e now have opposites, attracted, and yet polarized in deed, action, and even interpretation (Messadie, 1996, 90-7).
This conception then seems to flow mythologically out of the Middle East into other cultures; we have the trickster, the shadow, the evil one, and even the unknown. However, considering the geographical location of the Abrahamic religions, it is logical that there would be a cross-over from the archetype that would manifest itself within these religious traditions.
Satan in Judaism -- in traditional Judaic thought, there is no conception of the Devil…… [Read More]
Creation Myth Analysis
Case Study of the History of iblical Creation Narratives
What Is Myth?
What Is History?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 Myth?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 History?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 oth Myth and History?
An Analysis of the iblical Creation Narrative of Genesis 1:1-25 and Egypt's Possible Influence on the Historical Record
God created the world in just six days, and rested on the seventh, but scholars have not rested at all over the millennia in their investigation of its account in the historical record, particularly Genesis 1:1-25. Given its importance to humankind, it is little wonder that so much attention has been devoted to how the universe was created and what place humanity has in this immense cosmos. Indeed, the creation of the universe and the origin of mankind are the subject of numerous myths around the world, with many sharing some distinct commonalities. According to S.G.F.…… [Read More]
In this chapter she passes through seven gates and at each of these gates one of her royal pieces of attire are removed from her. The writer is reminded of the descent of Jesus into hell or into the bosom of Abraham during the time that he died and the cross and arose from the dead and just as Christ arose from the dead Inanna too is brought back to life by the God of Wisdom's "food of life" and "water of life." As she re-enters the world above she is accompanied by demonic beings who offer first to take her daughter and then to take her two sons instead of following her, but Inanna refuses. The demons then attempt to take her husband but are thwarted from doing that. The seven 'me' are the crown, the beads, the royal robe, the ointment, the breastplate, the gold ring, and the…… [Read More]