Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Iliad

2049 Words Dec 12th, 2015 9 Pages
Character relationship similarities and differences in The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad:
In The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad, heroes Achilles and Gilgamesh have important relationships with characters that directly and indirectly give readers a look at the character we may not normally see. For the mighty demi-god Achilles, the person who aids in revealing his feelings is the warrior, Patroclus. Patroclus is a warrior who Achilles has a great respect for, and his eventual death sends him into an enraged killing spree. For the tyrannical king Gilgamesh, this was Enkidu; the hairy man sent by the gods to put him in his place after displeasing them. Enkidu’s death brings to light feelings that Gilgamesh did not even know he had; his fear of death being the most prominent. The relationships that these characters have with their companions open them up for readers, allowing the characters to be viewed in a whole new light. Due to the deaths of their companions, we see tenderness and emotional vulnerability from the heroes. That is uncharacteristic to these characters when we are first introduced to them. Despite Achilles and Gilgamesh both having their outlook on life changed after the death of their friends, there is also a lot that separates these two relationships while all characters are alive. Unlike Enkidu does for Gilgamesh, Patroclus is not needed to define Achilles as a character. Achilles himself does not change his characteristics a great deal before his…
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