Gilgamesh And Beowulf

2046 Words9 Pages
During our lives we will have to take many journeys some happy, some sad, and some tougher than others. I was asked to read Gilgamesh written by Stephen Mitchell and Beowulf transcribed by Seamus Heaney. There are many differences and critical comparisons that can be drawn between the epics of Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Both are historical poems which shape their respected culture and both have major social, cultural, and political impacts on the development of western civilization literature and writing. Before any analysis is made, it is vital that some kind of a foundation be established so that a further, in-depth exploration of the complex nature of both narratives can be accomplished. Our main characters, Gilgamesh and Beowulf, are both on a personnel journey. Gilgamesh is a king that is trying to prove that he is the almighty and there is no better man in his kingdom than he. “The city of Uric was his possession. He trampled the citizens like a wild bull. He took sons from their fathers and crushed them. He took daughters from their mothers and “used” them. All the while, no one dared to oppose him, until Enkidu was created by the gods. Enkidu was to be two-thirds divine and one-third human. Despite the fact Enkidu and Gilgamesh look like twins they think very differently. When Enkidu discovered how Gilgamesh was taking virgin brides in their wedding beds he felt as though he had to put a stop to it, immediately. When confronted by Enkidu the two men fought and in the end Gilgamesh lost to Enkidu. Not only did Gilgamesh and Enkidu become the best of friends, but Gilgamesh saw the error of his ways and was humbled by the experience. Beowulf does not become a king until later in his tale, he thought of himself as a great man. He was strong and willing to do what ever necessary to prove so. He was challenged to a swimming match
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