Gilgamesh and Beowulf

Gilgamesh and Beowulf

There are many different epic tales that have passed down from generation to generation. Some were verbally passed down and others were transcribed. They were mostly about brave heroes and teach lessons. The two tales I’m comparing are Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Beowulf the warrior and Gilgamesh the Wrestler had the stuff that legends were made of. They were fearless leaders who faced great difficulty with the challenges they had to face. And, as a result of their actions, each one became ings of powerful nations. Beowulf had the Germanic tribes while Gilgamesh ruled the first great civilization of the Mesopotamian era. Even though they are very different they still share a lot in common. Firstly, I will discuss the similarities. “Why are you afraid of death” (line 1,2) shows how prideful Gilgamesh actually is. In the movie “Beowulf” he showed pride when he rants and raves about how he is going to kill Grendel with his bare hands in the nude. In both stories they have foils, and in oth they are friends with them. The line “claims of kinship cannot be denied” (line 358-361) was said by Wiglaf, Beowulf’s close friend. “Enkidu feared his friend was weakening” shows the friendship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh. In both tales Gilgamesh and Beowulf face horrific monsters. Grendel the monster Beowulf faces is described as a “sin-stained demon” (line 92). The monster that Gilgamesh is described as the protector of the ceder tree’s hired by the gods. Secondly, I will talk about there differences.

They say that Gilgamesh is 2/3 god and 1/3 human, but Beowulf is purely human. In Gilgamesh’s story he starts off as king from the very beginning where in the movie “Beowulf” he doesn’t become king until after he defeats Grendel’s mother. Hrothgar said “Now this is your burden I am freed……. and since I don’t have any heir i’m giving you the crown” (movie). Beowulf was based in 900 A. D while Gilgamesh was based in 2500 B. C. The monster, Humbaba, Gilgamesh faced is a dragon. Grendel is some sort of deformed monster.