Gilgamesh And Achilles Comparison

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In the beginning of the Iliad and the Gilgamesh epics there are similarities in the behavior of the leading characters. Gilgamesh and Achilles both have problems managing their emotions. For Gilgamesh the issue is in the form of sexual conquest and abusing power. For Achilles it is pride and fury that causes problems for the hero. It could be said that these behaviors show how the heroes deal with and internalize feelings as well as emotions. Another similarity is how the loss of their comrades causes a transformation in the protagonists. In the Iliad the hero Achilles suffers the loss of his close comrade, Patroclus, and likewise in Gilgamesh he experiences the death of Enkidu. The deaths of these comrades served as a catalyst for the transformation…show more content…
Angry Ares drained the life of most of them. But I had one left, guardian of our city, protector of its people. You’ve just killed him, as he was fighting for his native country. I mean Hector. For his sake I’ve come here, to Achaea’s ships, to win him back from you. And I’ve brought a ransom beyond counting. So Achilles, show deference to the gods and pity for myself, remembering your own father. Of the two old men, I’m more pitiful, because I have endured what no living mortal on this earth has borne— I’ve lifted up to my own lips and kissed the hands of the man who killed my son.” (Homer 217) This causes Achilles to rethink about not returning the body of Hector and this is not without pride. As he tells the king: Old man, don’t provoke me. I myself intend to give you Hector. Zeus sent me here a messenger, the mother who bore me, a daughter of the Old Man of the Sea. And in my heart, Priam, I recognize— it’s no secret to me—that some god led you here to the swift Achaean ships. (Homer…show more content…
This prideful and vengeful behavior makes a bad leader by causing low morale of the men and women of Uruk. These are not good traits for a leader if they are to lead a nation. Gilgamesh changed after the death of Enkidu to a leader that cares about the people he rules. He then worked on architectural endeavors, he rebuilt cities damaged from a flood and help to restore order. This is what an effective leader does. Two negative traits of Achilles includes abuse of power by threatening others and his conceit, which is shown by the quote below: Achilles great pride, Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies . . . true, but the life that’s left me will be long, the stroke of death will not come on me quickly. The pride of maintaining family honor of Achilles family name. (Homer 120) After his death, Patroclus’ body lays out in the sun for days. Then king Priam comes and sees Achilles requesting that he return his son’s body. Achilles tells king

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