Hey Hey Essay

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Your name English Literature (Classic and Modern) Course Instructor Date of Submission Gilgamesh and Sunjata Both the ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ by George Andrew and ‘Sunjata: A West Epic of the Mandes Peoples’ by Conrad David are two epic stories, derived from evident Sahelian sources with the apparent aim to further exalt the power of their heroes. This is common in the epics as they share the same tendency of integrating the local legends and use historical achievements to justify their heroic roles. Though the main characters in the two epics, namely Sunjuta and Gilgamesh share a number of traits in the respective novels, they also contrast in a number of ways in the heroic roles the play in the two books. The Epic of Gilgamesh’ by George Andrew introduces Gilgamesh as the King of Uruk. As a character, he is more of a god than a man considering his extra ordinary war and leadership powers. Gilgamesh was immensely strong, physically beautiful and very wise. During his reign, he built the magnificent ziggurats, had high walls surround the city and had the city’s field and orchards well made. However, at some point, this supremacy got the better of him making him transform from his kingship role to being a cruel despot. Gilgamesh become a dictator to his subjects, raped women, used forced labor to build his projects, and left his subjects exhausted and groaning under oppression. It was the god’s intervention through the creation of Enkidu who later happened to be Gilgamesh’s friend that salvaged and brought back the lost heroism in him. When Enkidu died, Gilgamesh realized that there is no man who is more powerful than the gods thus humbled himself and served both the gods and his subjects. ‘Sunjata: A West Epic of the Mandes Peoples’ by Conrad David on the other hand brings out Sunjata as a Mande hero in relation to the Mali

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