Compare Contrast Gilgamesh and Beowulf

1426 Words Dec 24th, 2011 6 Pages
Comparison and Contrast Essay Final Draft: Gilgamesh vs. Beowulf

The epics of Beowulf and Gilgamesh are about a pair of heroes who had many common characteristics as well as characteristics that contradict one another. Beowulf is a Christian epic that roots from the Anglo Saxon culture. Throughout the plot, there are numerous biblical allusions. “Grendel who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in a hell not hell but earth. He was spawned in that slime, conceived by a pair of monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished By God,” (from Beowulf part one, translated by Burton Raffel pg. 21, lines 17-21) Gilgamesh is a story from the Mesopotamian culture, which is now present day Iraq. As Beowulf, Gilgamesh also has
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Beowulf has numerous battles. He fights with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Going into these fights, Beowulf already had God’s favor, because Grendel and his mother were descendants of Cain, and they were from hell. “Hail to those who will rise to God, drop off their dead bodies, and seek our Father’s peace.” (from Beowulf part one, translated by Burton Raffel pg 23 lines 101-103). Although Gilgamesh is favored by many gods and Beowulf is favored by one god, it is this favor that makes them both heroes. In contrast, Beowulf and Gilgamesh had different endings to their lives. Beowulf died after his battle with the dragon. “That final day was the first time when Beowulf fought and fate had denied him glory in battle.” (from Beowulf Part two translated by Seamus Heaney pg 45 lines 723-725) Gilgamesh’s life went a bit different. He eventually died, but in the story, he went on a journey to find the secret to everlasting life. "Seven days and nights I sat beside the body, weeping for Enkidu beside the body, and then I saw a worm fall out of his nose.
Must I die too? Must Gilgamesh be like that? It was then I felt the fear of it in my belly.
I roam the wilderness because of the fear.Enkidu, the companion, whom I loved, is dirt, nothing but clay is Enkidu.Weeping as if I were a woman I roam the paths and
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