The Epic Of Epic Heroes

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From King Arthur, to Beowulf, to even Achilles, characters that embody the traits of epic heroes represent an integral part of ancient literature. In fact, what would literature be without epic heroes? How different would The Odyssey be if Odysseus never went on his epic journey? Would the epic poem Beowulf still be read today if the character Beowulf never challenged Grendel and Grendel’s mother? In the story, The Epic of Gilgamesh, characters, both men and women, exhibit characteristics that could be considered heroic, but do they represent epic heroes? Applying a character analysis to The Epic of Gilgamesh will not only help define their status as epic heroes, but will also reveal the purpose of the character, what the character…show more content…
He also raped any woman that he wanted, whether she was married, single, or even on her wedding night. While this may have been part of his divine privilege, it still reveals his lack of respect for women. Gilgamesh was also incredibly over-confident and selfish, making decisions about his country without interacting with his people or getting their opinion. This cockiness is shown while the harlot is describing Gilgamesh to Enkidu by saying, “He is wise to perfection, but struts his power over the people like a wild bull” (Gilgamesh 79). However, despite these human flaws, Gilgamesh does represent an epic hero. One factor that applies to many epic heroes would be their connection to the divine, and Gilgamesh represents that through his bloodline. He is the son of a goddess, therefore giving him abilities that separate him from the completely mundane. In fact, due to his divine heritage, Gilgamesh is considered, “strong and awesome to perfection” (Gilgamesh 75). However, despite being the son of a goddess, Gilgamesh is limited from being completely divine due to his father being human. More specifically, Gilgamesh is the “offspring of Lugalbanda” (Gilgamesh 75), which, in other words, means young and fierce king. Lugalbanda was an earlier ruler of Uruk, which allowed Gilgamesh to inherit the throne. It is his connections to both
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