Beowulf vs. Gilgamesh

1212 WordsApr 11, 20015 Pages
Beowulf Vs. Gilgamesh The two cultures I chose to compare heroic values for are the ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Anglo-Saxon cultures. The texts I used in the comparison are Gilgamesh for Mesopotamia and Beowulf for Anglo-Saxon. Although they posses many similar heroic characteristics they also differ greatly. Beowulf is the earliest surviving epic poem written in a modern European language. It was written in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D. The poem describes the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century. Beowulf is described as a perfect hero who fights for his people and vanquishes evil with his extraordinary abilities to bring peace and justice. Three of Beowulf's traits that support…show more content…
The second text I will be using for this comparison is The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh was one of the first pieces of literature known to man. The epic was found among ruins in Ninevah in the form of twelve large tablets, dating to 2,000 B.C. The epic is believed to be based on the Archaic Sumerian king Gilgamesh who ruled the city of Uruk around 2700 B.C. The main character in The Epic of Gilgamesh is a very powerful man who is two-thirds immortal and one-third man. He too is thought to be a hero and possesses many of Beowulf's heroic values, but he also possesses many differences. Like Beowulf, Gilgamesh possessed great physical strength unmatched by any man. He also had insurmountable courage. Gilgamesh fought numerous battles that were considered impossible to win. Gilgamesh first destroys an evil monster known as Humbaba. Humbaba is feared by all who enter his cedar forest. Gilgamesh arrives and kills Humbaba with a sword given to him by the god Shamash. After killing Humbaba the goddess Ishtar sends The Bull of Heaven to destroy Gilgamesh. After the bull killed many of the townspeople Gilgamesh grabbed it by its tail and stabbed it in the back of its head. On his final quest for everlasting life Gilgamesh is attacked by a pack of lions. He takes an axe in one hand and a sword in the other and kills many of the lions, sending the rest
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