Paper 1 Lit 230.docx - 1 Katherine Torres Professor Stuart Watson LIT 230 15 October 2018 It is the Gods’ World and Mortals Just Live in It Divine

Paper 1 Lit 230.docx - 1 Katherine Torres Professor Stuart...

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1 Katherine Torres Professor Stuart Watson LIT 230 15 October 2018 It is the Gods’ World and Mortals Just Live in It Divine beings in ancient literature exhibit strong ties to nature, which directly creates strong ties to mortals as well. Early peoples were fascinated by the sheer power of the elements and began to attribute natural phenomenon to the workings of divine beings. The dynamics of the complicated relationship between mortals and their gods are exemplified in two epics entitled The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh . Each epic details different circumstances in which mortals need the help of the gods. However, in both of the epics, before the gods offer their help, they seriously consider whether it is in their best interests to do so. As a result of the gods putting their interests first when it comes to addressing earthly affairs, conflict arises when the protagonists of the epics threaten the reputation or the best interests of the gods. Throughout the journeys of Gilgamesh and Odysseus, the gods repeatedly choose to act in their best interests and ignore the detrimental effects their godly acts might have on the mortals. In The Epic of Gilgamesh , the gods are portrayed as beings with uncontestable power whom are revered by the mortals. The mortals feel they can turn to the gods in times of need, which is exactly where they turn when they can no longer withstand the havoc Gilgamesh wreaks in their city of Uruk. The gods swiftly answered the wishes of the mortals and willingly came up with a solution. Even though the gods listened to the wishes of the people and wanted to help, their assistance did not derive from their desire to please the mortals, but from their desire to benefit themselves. The gods had a hidden agenda to suppress Gilgamesh’s growing power. Gilgamesh had too much power on Earth for the likings of the gods; he was becoming a threat to their reputation and image. The gods could not stand that an earthly being such as Gilgamesh
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2 managed to gain enough influence and power over the mortals to become a competitor to the gods. Gilgamesh is chronicled as “supreme over other kings, lordly in appearance, he is the hero” (Gilgamesh, 1). This description clearly denotes that Gilgamesh has god-like power to the mortals. It is not within the gods’ best interests to be competed with so they create Enkidu, a being that will balance out and minimize the effect Gilgamesh has on Earth.
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