Beowulf And Gilgamesh Essay

1975 Words 8 Pages
Comparative English Essay

Compare the Beowulf poet's presentation of the battles with Grendel and his mother with the Gilgamesh poet's depiction of Gilgamesh' battles with Huwawa and the Bull of Heaven.

Fame and glory have been the most admirable characteristics in the middle Ages and even before Christ in the ancient civilizations. The epics of Gilgamesh and Beowulf are stories of heroism and immortality gained through fame. The aim of the main characters, Beowulf and Gilgamesh, is to be a good warrior by being courageous, respectful and prudent, a protector and servant to their king (only in the beginning of Beowulf, as he later becomes king and Gilgamesh already is) and their country. In both poems the fights of the main
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This was the place the guardian demon guarded…" (p. 25, line 12 ff.). Even though the forest is dangerous, still and full of shadows, it is inversely also described as beautiful and full of confusion and noise: "There was the noise of swords, daggers and axes, confusions of noises in the Cedar forest. This is how nature is: wild, dangerous, unpredictable but also beautiful. And this is also how Huwawa's home and therefore also himself is described. This image of Huwawa being representative for nature is straightened by Shamash's interfering to help Gilgamesh fighting Huwawa, "Seven terrors are Huwawa's garments. The aura of Huwawa is the terrors. Helpless is the one who enters the Cedar Forest wears the seven."(p.25, line 6ff.), by raising up "thirteen storms to beat against the face of the aura of the demon Huwawa, beating their tempest feet off the earth wide open, splitting the mountains, (…) Gilgamesh was able to get at him" (p.27, line 14ff.). As Huwawa then realizes that he is overwhelmed, he offers himself as a servant for Uruk, but Enkidu, who himself is a child of the wilderness, but now got civilized by Gilgamesh, insists on killing Huwawa. On the one side this is strange as Enkidu is also wild, like Huwawa, but Enkidu entered the social life of a civilized nation and adapted its standards. Huwawa is wild and can't protect a cultured nation; therefore he must die to let civilization win. The wood of the Cedar Forest that is used for new city gates also shows
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