Comparing Oedipus And Gilgamesh

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Mesopotamian and Greek culture heroes Oedipus and Gilgamesh can be argued as heroes in their cultures. Heroes tend to be an inspiration to the people around them and they do things in consideration of the people rather than their own self gain. Heroes do not have selfish desires and will not try to accomplish it. Heroes do not care for glory, rather they do actions they think is right for the safety of others.Oedipus is a hero because he cares about the people in his country and is determined to find the truth of who killed Laius. Gilgamesh is not a hero because he had no consideration for the people of his people. Oedipus is a hero when it is described in the play “You freed us from the Sphinx, you came to Thebes and cut us loose from the…show more content…
When Jocasta wants Oedipus to stop looking for the truth it shows how important it is for Oedipus to be a king and a hero to his people because he wants to see the truth all the way to the end. Jocasta wants to prevent this to save Oedipus when she says “No, please-for your sake-I want the best for you!” (Oedipus The King 223). Jocasta is thinking of only Oedipus and not the people of Thebes compared to Oedipus who is thinking about the people of Thebes and a true king or hero would put his people first. He even shows his dedication during Jocasta’s final words in the play when she says “Aieeeeee-man of agony-that is the only name I have for you, that, no other-ever, ever, ever!” (Oedipus The King 223). Oedipus’ dedication to his people makes him a hero to the people of Thebes because he wants to see justice done even though Jocasta does not want him to continue his investigation because she knows what is going to happen if the truth of who killed Laius was found out. Gilgamesh cares about fame and fortune even though heroes do not care about fame and fortune. Gilgamesh shows his desire for fame and fortune during their forest journey “If we touch him the blaze and the glory of light will be put out in confusion, the glory and glamour will vanish its rays will be quenched” (The Epic of Gilgamesh 83). Gilgamesh was hesitant on killing Humbaba…show more content…
A hero should act strong for his people, but when he meets Urshanabi it is clearly shown when Gilgamesh introduces himself and says “Why are your cheeks so starved and your face drawn? Why is despair in your heart and your face like the face of one who has made a long journey; yes, why is your face burned with heat and with cold, and why do you come here wandering over the pastures in search of the wind?” (The Epic of Gilgamesh 103). Instead of being a hero and accepting the death of others, he is allowing the fear of death get to him and it can be shown when Urshanabi talked about his heart and his facial expression. Gilgamesh is not a hero because during their conversation he acts nothing like a hero when he says “I am afraid of death” (The Epic of Gilgamesh 104). Gilgamesh is not accepting the idea that he will die and it prevents him from being a

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