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Epic/ Heroic poetry can be easily defined through comparing and contrasting the exploits and relationships of the characters Achilles and Partrioclus from the Iliad and that of Gilgamesh and Enkindu.

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Introduction

Essay #3 Epic/ Heroic poetry can be easily defined through comparing and contrasting the exploits and relationships of the characters Achilles and Partrioclus from the Iliad and that of Gilgamesh and Enkindu. Their relationships furthermore help to define heroic/epic poetry through their similarities and differences. The characters also help in clarifying this definition in both the idea and nature of their heroism. Both Gilgamesh and Achilles also reiterate the definition of heroic/epic poetry by their differences and similarities in their own styles of heroism. By tracing these elements of the two heroes and their relationships with their close friends, not only is the definition of epic/heroic poetry clear, but the fundamental differences between epic poetry and lyrical poetry become evident. The exploits of both pairs of characters from the two stories help define epic/ heroic poetry, because the exploits of both characters fall in line with the definition of epic/ heroic poetry. Epic poetry is known as the one of the earliest forms of literature and was first told orally and then latter written down. These stories were about heroes that show godlike qualities, personal power, patriotism and loyalty. We find that both pairs possess these qualities, in some of the same ways and in some ways that are different. At the beginning of the pair's adventures we see a difference the reason of what they are fighting for. Gilgamesh had just gained a friend that was similar to him and he wanted to go out and make a name for himself by conquering the unconquerable. ...read more.

Middle

For Gilgamesh this brings the fame that he searched for, but cost him his life. For Achilles, true vengeance came with the price of his own life. Either way these characters ends fulfill the qualities of heroic/epic poetry. Achilles heroism is different than Gilgamesh's because his purpose is different. Achilles has a reason to fight; he cares not what people think of him, but fights for what he believes, and has an army to back his cause and therefore is looked upon as a hero by his people. Gilgamesh goes out alone in search of his fame and glory hoping to create a legacy. Gilgamesh stakes a claim as a hero by creating the situations that make a hero. It seems as though if these two stories took place in the same era, that Gilgamesh would be after Achilles head for fame of having the upper hand over another god-like being. Gilgamesh and the Iliad with both their plot and character similarities and differences help to create the definition of epic/heroic poetry. Both these stories show characters with god-like qualities, personal power, patriotism and loyalty. Each story's characters and plots express these ideas differently in the way that the stories are carried out, but they do posses the qualities that make up such a story. Fundamentally after breaking down epic poetry it is easy to see how it differs from lyrical poetry. Lyrical poetry is much more universal in time and subject matter. ...read more.

Conclusion

Homer took such time and pain to depict all of this in Achilles shield not just as a beautiful lyric but also for a power learning tool. I think the reason behind his detailed description was to educate on the beauties of peace and not war. He made the shield a full circle to symbolize the importance of learning from history, and trying not to repeat it. I also believe that this circle representation was done to show the people just how far the have come and to show them how far they can go. I also think Homer could have completed such a detailed description to show the people of his time, that they have a lot to look forward to and the Golden Age was coming, I think that Homer was most accurate in his description of the Golden Age and the future of Athens. His description of the Heroic Age was more toward the negative and he depicted mostly the evils of it. I don't think that everything about that time was dark and that it had no heroes, because Achilles lived then and brought some hope during that time. I think that Homer was most accurate in describing the Golden Age because of the prosperity of the people and how fast they advanced in all aspects of society. I think that Homer described the Greek civilization as it was, one of the greatest civilizations of all times. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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