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Adva Asraf English 391-0500- Pamplin January 14th, 2016 Essay #1 Epic heroism usually denotes to an individual of highest social class such as great kings or leaders. Epic heroes are outstanding fighters, sometimes carrying some divine powers. To show his heroic elements, the hero must confront some supernatural enemies, quests, war, or adversity. The Epic of Gilgamesh depicts most of these characteristics of epic heroism. The description about his birth to the journey and adventures in his life meets the characteristics of an epic hero. Although, at some points, Gilgamesh engages in acts of selfishness and arrogance, I believe he achieves the characteristics of an epic hero and portrays those characteristics throughout the epic.…show more content…
There is a certain aspect of epic heroism in his journey to the Utnapishtim and his journey to the Underworld. His journey to across the water of deaths matches that described in most epic heroic myths. For example, Gilgamesh travel in the mountains is similar to Odyssey’s quest inside the land of the dead. Another characteristic of an epic hero is that they receive favor from gods or faces supernatural enemies. Gilgamesh both receives the help of the sun god and faces the supernatural enemy sent by Ishtar. Gilgamesh conflicts with the goddess of lovemaking after he rejects her advances for marriage. Ishtar is most likely attracted to Gilgamesh because of divine characteristics, something that makes him an epic hero. As seen in most historical literature such as Odyssey, only epic heroes tend to experience an intimate or face-to-face relationship with the gods and goddesses. In addition, an epic hero is expected to return home after completing his quest or adventure. The epic hero returns with some treasure or various aspect of completeness. Gilgamesh quest was based on finding his immortality. Instead, he succeeds to understand his divine powers and accepts his mortality. After the quest, Gilgamesh changes his attitude and gets a heroic burial after his death."…went through every hardship only to emerge a wise and excellent king worthy of his own epic"
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