Journey of Gilgamesh

643 Words3 Pages
Despite coming from two different parts of the world, Gilgamesh and Sunjata have many similarities within being an epic character. First, the two stories share the fundamental aspects, intrinsic upon epics. Both tales are told in a poetic format. In addition, the two tales both involve a hero who embarks on some sort of journey. For example, after witnessing the death of his good friend Enkidu, Gilgamesh has trouble coming to terms with his own mortality. In turn, he leaves Uruk hoping to find the secret to eternal life. This is comparable to Sunjata's obstacles in his quest to become king. Sunjata had to come to terms with being a lame child unable to walk properly. Furthermore, Sunjata was forced to travel to foreign kingdoms in exile…show more content…
This mechanism was designed to ensure young listeners were focused and engaged in the tale, which demonstrates how the story of Sunjata was, perhaps, more important ritualistically than Gilgamesh was. This reflects upon the differences in Mande culture verses that of the more northern Middle Eastern culture that produced Gilgamesh. The content, characters, and plot of both stories share more differences than similarities. Gilgamesh is presented as a vicious, chaotic ruler all too eager to do wrong and harm others. Sunjata, on the other hand, is born troubled and cursed and rules nothing. Gilgamesh constantly has help in his ordeals such as his best friend Enkidu or from Shamash during the battle against Humbaba. Alternatively, Sunjata is exiled and forced to wander around virtually by himself. He raises his own armies and wins his battles out of bravery and skill instead of from outside forces helping him. Another distinction can be drawn at the motives for each characters journey. Gilgamesh sets out to attain eternal life for himself because he personally cannot come to terms with the idea of mortality. This demonstrates a clear, personal reason for his escapade through the mountains. Sunjata, fights for his tribe, his family, and for the prophecy. In its simplest form it can be said that a main difference between the two stories is Gilgamesh's quest for self satisfaction against Sunjata's journey for his people. This stark difference can be analyzed culturally as
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