Essay on The Epic of Gilgamesh versus The Epic of Beowulf

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The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf contain everything we can expect from a great epic literature. It portrays fantastic geographies, exotic characters, exhausting quests, heroic battles with monsters, supernatural beings and natural forces. Most important of all, they are two outstanding stories of a great epic hero who is compelled to meet his destiny and who rises to every challenge with courage and determination. Beowulf is the earliest surviving epic poem written in a modern European language. It was written in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D. The poem describes the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century. Beowulf is described as a perfect hero who fights for his people and gets rid of …show more content…
When he chopped off Grendels head, he carried it from the ocean with ease, but it took four men to lift the monster’s head and carry it back to Herot. This strength is a key trait of Beowulf's heroism. Like Beowulf, Gilgamesh possessed great physical strength unmatched by any man. He also had insurmountable courage. Gilgamesh fought numerous battles that were considered impossible to win. Gilgamesh first destroys an evil monster known as Humbaba. Humbaba is feared by all who enter his cedar forest. Gilgamesh arrives and kills Humbaba with a sword given to him by the god Shamash. After killing Humbaba the goddess Ishtar sends The Bull of Heaven to destroy Gilgamesh. After the bull killed many of the townspeople Gilgamesh grabbed it by its tail and stabbed it in the back of its head. On his final quest for everlasting life Gilgamesh is attacked by a pack of lions. He takes an axe in one hand and a sword in the other and kills many of the lions, sending the rest fleeing in fear. Gilgamesh’s strength and courage is much like that of Beowulf. Another heroic value Beowulf possessed was his ability to put the welfare of others before his own. Beowulf was asked by the Danes to help rid them of an evil monster that was terrorizing their city. Beowulf showed gratitude and appreciated his people 0a1nd traveled far to face an awesome force that he believed he

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