Gilgamesh and Ramayana

1559 Words7 Pages
An Epic Definition There was a time when gods and demons roamed the earth. A time when humanity lived at the mercy of divine beings, who executed their wills against the humans, following their own selfish desires and placing humans in a position of piety to these dominant beings. This time on earth is one of great men who fought against these demigods, giving them great fame passed on as stories in the oral tradition. Though it is unrealistic to believe that these men truly fought against divine beings, their stories played a role in the ancient world, which was the beginning of the formation of society and civilization. The epics of “Gilgamesh” and “The Ramayana of Valmiki” both served their societies as an outline of a moral code,…show more content…
These stories each detail the societies’ beliefs of what it takes to be a hero, whether it be saving the world from aliens in modern movies or slaying fearful beasts in ancient stories. “Gilgamesh” and “Ramayana” both possess great battle scenes where the heroic namesakes of their respective stories end up victorious against a foe that is thought to be unbeatable. Gilgamesh slays two beasts, Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven; while in “Ramayana”, Rama’s ultimate battle is against the demon Ravana. Gilgamesh’s impending battle with Humbaba is of concern to both his subjects and Enkidu, both of which feel that he will not have success. The citizens state, “We have heard of Humbaba, his features are grotesque, / Who is there who could face his weaponry (II.262-63)? Gilgamesh is successful in his battle with Humbaba and follows up his battle with another one against the Bull of Heaven, another divine beast that meets its doom at the hands of the great warrior. The defeat of these two great beasts gave Gilgamesh an even higher level of fame amongst his citizens; he was no longer a tyrannical ruler, but rather a great warrior. Rama’s defeat of Ravana was met with the realization that a mortal man had defeated a demon, “alas, he who could not be killed by the gods and demons, has been killed in battle by a man standing on earth” (755). The idea that a mortal can defeat an
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