Great civilizations give birth to great heroes, who eventually become great legends. The Sumerian and Greek civilizations bred great warriors, like Gilgamesh and Achilles. Their legacies are exaggerated in tales of fantasy and excitement, written by some of the most skilled writers of all times. Both of their epics portray them as epic heroes, but key events and character traits make them differ.
Certain characteristics determine literary characters as epic heroes. One reason Achilles and Gilgamesh are described as the classic examples of epic heroes is that they are both part god. Also, both men are strong, courageous warriors, a role that literature deems necessary to be an epic hero. Lastly, their tales are begun in media res, or in the middle of action. The Iliad begins after Agamemnon has stoles Chryseis, and the epic of Gilgamesh starts during the death of Enkidu, the king’s close friend.…show more content… Both these men have their people’s support. In The Iliad, it is a well-known fact throughout the story that Achilles is a celebrated and loved warrior. The writer of the Gilgamesh’s epic is a Sumerian townsman who clearly praised his warrior-king indirectly and directly, such as when he described the glorious ways in which the king defeated some of the world’s greatest monsters and found himself. In addition to this, these two epic heroes both show understanding and other good feelings at the end of their stories. Achilles seems to understand what Priam is going through and returns his son’s dead body out of pity, and Gilgamesh finally gets that eternal life is unattainable and one should act humble and