The Epic Of Gilgamesh And The Iliad

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In the epics 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 might not normally see. For the mighty demi-god Achilles, this is the warrior Patroclus, whom he has a great respect for. For the tyrannical King Gilgamesh, this was Enkidu, the hairy man sent by the gods. The relationships that these characters have with their companions open these characters up for readers, and can show the characters in a whole new light. We see tenderness and emotional vulnerability that is uncharacteristic to these characters. Despite there being many things that can be compared in the relationships between these hero’s, there is also a lot that separates them. Unlike Gilgamesh with Enkidu, Achilles does not need Patroclus to understand himself as a person, and does not change his characteristics a great deal before his death. Whereas the tyrannical, brutal King Gilgamesh ends up being someone looked at as a very wise, kind, heroic king, after Enkidu comes into his life and Gilgamesh’s true self is revealed. Achilles’ character throughout the Iliad does not really evolve from who he is when we are first introduced to him in the epic. He is filled with an immense amount of uncontrollable rage, which in part helps him to be the extraordinary warrior that he is, but also makes him unpredictable, volatile, and headstrong. Achilles relationship with Patroclus is
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