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Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works Essay

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Medea

Woman in the Ancient World

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (Shakespeare 242). Medea plays the role of a woman as the “most wretched” creature (Euripides 21). Looking at her life, one can see that in ancient Athens females were powerless. They were not able to manage their lives as a woman had “no right to refuse her husband” (Euripides 22). Still, they were waiting for the time when honor will come “to the race of women” and everything will change (Euripides 27). They wanted to control the circumstances that influenced their lives and characters negatively. Then it would be the turn of men to play the roles of bad creatures, which the chorus believes to be some kind of revenge.

As the main representative of women, Medea is considered to be also the source of life. Evaluating the murder of the children, the conclusion can be drawn that the females were thought to give the life and take it back. It can be an association with the gods, but women are presented as creatures that can quickly change their minds and become extremely violent.

Medea cannot be considered to be a classical tragic hero. She shows that females are too proud. They do not want to admit their mistakes and even if they do eventually, they do not wish to return to the previous stage.

Gilgamesh

The Power of True Friendship

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a great story that shows how friends can change one’s life. From the very beginning, Gilgamesh looks like a cruel man who is ready to take a risk and does not care about the feeling of other people. He lives his life in a search of dangerous adventures that can bring new feelings and fill the emptiness in his heart.

Enkidu enters the story as a creature that has more in common with animals than with people. However, soon he searches for a friend, which proves him to become more human – “becoming aware of himself, he sought a friend” (Garrison 32).

As they meet, Gilgamesh and Enkidu fight, but it is not the beginning of the war, it is the beginning of a new sincere friendship – “Gilgamesh bent his knees, with his other foot on the ground, his anger abated […] They kissed each other and became friends” (Gardner 165).

Gilgamesh used to take care only of himself but now he understands that the well-being of his friend is of great importance to him. Even though the character stays selfish and is aimed at achieving his own goals, neglecting the Enkidu’s wish to do away with dangerous quests, he cannot imagine his life without the friend. He appreciates this friendship – “He will have you lie on a grand couch […] so that the princes of the world kiss your feet. He will have the people of Uruk go into mourning and moaning over you, and fill the happy people with woe over you” (Gardner 245).

As Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh goes off on a new quest. However, this one does not seem to be possible to accomplish. It looks like with the death of his friend, Gilgamesh also loses a part of himself, which makes him less rational.

Works Cited

Euripides. Medea, Clayton: Prestwick House, 2005. Print.

Gardner, John. Gilgamesh, New York: Random House, 2011. Print.

Garrison, Jim. Civilization and the Transformation of Power, New York: Cosimo, 2000. Print.

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It, New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2009. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2021, March 27). Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/medea-and-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-works/

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"Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works." IvyPanda, 27 Mar. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/medea-and-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-works/.

1. IvyPanda. "Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medea-and-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-works/.


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IvyPanda. "Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medea-and-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-works/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medea-and-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-works/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Medea and the Epic of Gilgamesh Works'. 27 March.

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