Ancient Literature and Modern Day Life
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This paper explains that, on first glance, the atmosphere of the ancient Mesopotamian epic "Gilgamesh," Homer's "Odyssey," the Egyptian songs for the dead and the medieval allegory "Everyman" seem quite foreign to our modern culture and sensibilities since the works depict heroes grappling with the gods in a one-on-one fashion, and valor and might are the ultimate determinants of a man or woman's prowess. The paper then argues that the issues these heroes must deal with, however, are also basic human issues common even today and that because of this, these pieces are not simply curiosities, but still resonate as vital works of literature.
From the Paper:"The plea for companionship in the face of death "Everyman" takes on a transcendent power because of its universality and the desire for home in "The Odyssey" gives the work a timeless quality, and makes the amoral protagonist sympathetic. Likewise, in "Gilgamesh," the protagonist's sorrow about losing his beloved best friend makes him sympathetic, even though like King Odysseus, King Gilgamesh is often violent, deceitful, and cruel. When he is punished by the gods, like Odysseus, it is not in an especially just fashion, but simply because he has been cursed for killing the evil demon Humbaba of the Cedar Forest, when provoked and attacked. Instead of Gilgamesh losing his own life, his dearest friend Enkidu is taken to the cruel place in the underworld, which like Homeric conceptions, is a terrible place, regardless of how morally one behaves in life."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Norton Anthology of World Literature. Edited by Sarah Lawall. 2nd Edition. Volumes A & B. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2003.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Ancient Literature and Modern Day Life (2008, August 12) Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ancient-literature-and-modern-day-life-106672/
"Ancient Literature and Modern Day Life" 12 August 2008. Web. 26 June. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ancient-literature-and-modern-day-life-106672/>