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Destiny & Character - Discuss in relation to the stories of Gilamesh, Oedipus the king, and The Tradegy of Sohrab and Rostam.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Destiny & Character By Chris Chan English 2110 Destiny & Character Destiny can be defined as a predetermined course of events that is beyond human power or control. It is considered a force which creates, shapes, guides, rewards, and afflicts human life. The elements of a character's true personality and attitude make that fate a reality and force the destiny to become the destination. The stories of Gilgamesh, Oedipus the King, and The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam all teach the readers that destiny and character are intertwined. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, destiny and Oedipus' actions determines the ultimate fate. Oedipus tells the Messenger: "Apollo told me once - it is my fate - I must make love with my own mother / shed my father's blood with my own hands" (418). Oedipus learns this at a young age and desperately attempts to change his fate. He leaves Corinth, where he believes his real parents reside at, thinking he is escaping his unwanted future. Oedipus says, "I heard all that and ran. I abandoned Corinth" (413). Instead of running away from his troubles, he puts the element of fate into motion.

Middle

Gilgamesh does not realize that eternal life is not his destiny, this shows his ignorance. When Gilgamesh meets Siduri, "the woman of the vine, the maker of wine," she reminds him of the meaningfulness of being human: Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man. (34) Yet Gilgamesh still cannot rest and is still unsatisfied with his mortal life. He continues his journey to Utnapishtim the Faraway, the only mortal to whom the gods have given everlasting life. With Urshanabi, the ferryman, Gilgamesh crosses the waters of death. Like Siduri, Utnapishtim asks Gilgamesh, "Where are you hurrying to?" (35), and in answer to Gilgamesh's question, "How shall I find the life for which I am searching?"

Conclusion

(919) Oh, noble youth, and proud, courageous seed of pahlavans! The sun and moon won't see your like again, No more will sheild or mail, nor throne or crown. Who else has been afflicted as I've been? That I should slay a youth in my old age Who is the grandson of the world-conquering Sam, Whose mother's seeds from famous men as well. It would be right to sever these two hands. No seat be mine henceforth save darkest earth. What father's ever done this? I now deserve abuse and icy scorn. Who else in all this world has slain his son? His wise, courageous, youthful son? (921) Both are great heroes driven by noble motives. Sohrab's sole ambition is to find his father and make him the king. His desire to overthrow Kay Kavus and Afrasiyab and replace them with the much worthier figure, Rostam, is quite justified and commendable. For him to die at the hands of his own father is the most shocking event. Their fate seems so unfair. Sohrab, in his final moments, blames fate, telling Rostam that: "This was the fate allotted me...What's happened here is what was meant to be" (918). The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam is a tragedy that teaches readers that to be victorious, one sometimes loses as well. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chan 1 1

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