"Gilgamesh" and "Sunjata" Comparison Essay by Nicky

A comparative analysis of the epics "Gilgamesh" and "Sunjata".
# 146615 | 1,374 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 05, 2011 in Literature (Poetry) , Literature (World)

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The paper begins by pointing out that the works "Gilgamesh" and "Sunjata" are logical mysteries to anyone without intense historical training in the cultural context of the words, messages, symbolism and function of the epics. The paper examines the message of each work, the overall role of the epic in culture and the role of the mother in the trials of the hero. The paper shows how these works diverge in many ways, but nevertheless concludes that these tales are far more alike than different.

Textual Tradition
Gilgamesh and Sunjata

From the Paper:

"It is safe to say that epics written from the oral tradition are significantly influenced by time and the telling, as well as most significantly, with regard to modern interpretation the manner, time and skill exerted by those who have turned oral epics into written forms. The final product is determined by many forces, and this is true of any ancient works, as they go through time being translated and re-translated with greater or lesser understanding of the cultural context of their nature and with the skill or lack of skill associated with extrapolating the works. Gilgamesh, for example is demonstrative of a set of fragmented sources all pulled together (with noted items missing) to create a single written document, "...we may conjecture that as a rule the final product is as much dependent on the scribe as on the singer." (Honko 7) Sunjata on the other hand in fact is unique to some degree in its reception and eventual documentation as the poem was institutionalized through ceremony, when a bard was asked to sing it in its entirety every seven years at Keila. (Honko 219)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowle, John. Man through the Ages: From the Origins to the Eighteenth Century. Boston: Little, Brown, 1962.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh. Trans. Maureen Gallery Kovacs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989.
  • Finnegan, Ruth. Oral Poetry: Its Nature, Significance, and Social Context. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992.
  • Honko, Lauri, ed. Textualization of Oral Epics. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2000.
  • Oinas, Felix J., ed. An Introduction to the World's Great Folk Epics An Introduction to the World's Great Folk Epics. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1978.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

"Gilgamesh" and "Sunjata" (2011, January 05) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/gilgamesh-and-sunjata-146615/

MLA Format

""Gilgamesh" and "Sunjata"" 05 January 2011. Web. 03 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/gilgamesh-and-sunjata-146615/>