Gilgamesh vs. Achilles

1015 words 5 pages
Gilgamesh Vs. Achilles

Back in the days of ancient Greece and before this time, epic heros have had their lives chronicled and the stories of them passed on from generation to generation, all the way to our present day in our lives. Two of the greatest heros that have been expressed in past epic stories were Gilgamesh from the epic named after him, and Achilles from Homer’s Iliad. The two of their stories however, transpired in two different eras, their lives both had a surprising number of common points. Of course with things in common, there always comes differences, in the way they lived and the ideals they believed in. The first aspect that expresses both Gilgamesh’s and Achilles similarities and differences is divinity.
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Instead of Gilgamesh accepting the way he was and honoring Enkidu’s death he set out to find immortality. As searching for this he found Utanapishti, he was the possessor of the secrets to immortality, Gilgamesh failed the test to stay awake for seven days and seven nights, and also he lost the plant that would make him young again, the sad thing was that he wanted to bring this plant back to Uruk and make all the old young again. After losing at both these tasks he set for, it caused him to realize that immortality was unachievable. However, Enkidu’s death did provide Gilgamesh with one of the best outcomes. It helped him over come his arrogance as a king and made him realize the reality of his world. On the other hand, Achilles had a different idea then Gilgamesh. Achilles believed in a shorter life full of glory and honor, and chose to avenge Patroclus by killing Hector. Even though Hector took the armor that Patroclus had on, which it was Achilles armor anyway. Achilles had the mindset that it was better to do something about the death of his companion then to grieve about it for the rest of his life, by sacrificing his own life. Achilles did not possess the dream of immortality and accepted it as being only for the gods. He believed in a very different manner then Gilgamesh, glory in his eyes was to be found in death, not life like Gilgamesh thought. Gilgamesh and Achilles shared several similarities in