The Role Of Changing Perception Of The Hero

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The role and the changing perception of the hero
Who is a hero? How does the definition of a hero change over time? The Epic of Gilgamesh is perhaps the “longest and greatest literary composition written in cuneiform Akkadian” (Dalley 39) and told to an audience, while The Odyssey, and Oedipus the King came many centuries later. However, they all have a hero that represents the values of the society at the time. This paper is going to compare and contrast the ideal of the hero from ancient Mesopotamia in Gilgamesh in approximately 2000 BC, The Odyssey, from the close of the 8th century BC focusing on Odysseus’ long journey home to Ithaca, and Oedipus the King written in about 430 BC and telling the story of the King, Oedipus who fulfills a prophecy.
The heroes in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and Oedipus are all men that share many traits, but are not the typical heroes that 21st century readers today may relate to. Instead, they are flawed men who must overcome great challenges. However, heroes play a vital role in the ancient epic texts that are still enjoyed today. Without the hero, there would be no tale to tell, and the stories of Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Oedipus, would be unknown to us. Understanding the role of the hero, and the differences between heroes is useful to better understand the literary masterpieces within the context of the times they were written in as well.
When analyzing Epic of Gilgamesh today in the 21st century, one can make an argument that
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