The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Tempest are two masterpieces, which reflect the life of people who lived in the times when the works were created. The two works pertain to different cultures.
Thus, the former is an Ancient Babylonian story, while the latter is one of the most famous Shakespearean works created in postcolonial Europe. The epochs, when the works were written, are very different. Nonetheless, there are certain themes that overlap, which can be explained by archetypal nature of the thematic elements.
One of such archetypal themes is supernatural. Thus, Gilgamesh interacts with gods and spirits. He has to fight against horrible giants and is punished by gods for some wrongdoings. Likewise, The Tempest is full of spirits who interact with people. One of the main characters of the play is a magician who knows some secrets of the universe.
This overlap can be explained by humans’ desire to see mysterious things in something they do not understand. Admittedly, people have tried to explain natural disasters or some universal laws by acts of supernatural entities that rule the world.
Therefore, the theme of unknown and supernatural can be regarded as archetypal. Even people, living in the twenty-first century where science has explained lots of the secrets of the universe, tend to practice some religions which also adhere to the area of spiritual and supernatural.
Another thematic element that overlaps in the two works is the confrontation of civilization and human nature. Thus, Enkidu and Caliban are symbols of the human nature, i.e. creatures that have not been civilized. The two characters are closer to the nature and they know some secrets civilized people do not understand.
At the same time, Gilgamesh and Prospero try to civilize the creatures and make them share their (i.e. civilized) values. This conflict has lots of dimensions and it is, by all means, archetypal as people have always experienced the necessity to suppress their desires to fit in the society.
More so, people have also acknowledged that civilization is associated with alienation from the nature. Thus, barbarians have always been seen as people (or rather creatures) who manage to live in harmony with the environment, while civilized people tend to alter the nature.
Finally, the two works share another thematic element, i.e. the relationship between the man and the woman. This is also an archetypal topic as people have always wanted to understand the secrets of the difference between the genders. Thus, the savage loves the woman and cannot have her in the play. In the Babylonian story, a goddess wants to win the protagonist’s heart but loses.
In both stories, there is unshared love, which causes a lot of sorrow. Admittedly, people have fallen in love with those who love others for centuries and there is still no explanation for this peculiarity of human nature.
To sum up, it is possible to note that the two stories and the two masterpieces share certain thematic elements. Some of these elements are supernatural, the confrontation between the civilization and the nature, and the secret of love and relationships between the man and the woman.
These themes overlap as they are archetypal and recurrent in loads of literary works and cultures. People have always tried to find answers to certain questions. Nevertheless, the questions remain unanswered and this is unlikely to change in the future.