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Human Event Paper #1

Human Event Paper #1 - Samantha Gustafson Jacquie...

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Samantha Gustafson September 24, 2004 Jacquie Scott-Lynch MW 10:40am Persona Shines Over Sovereignty Every war has been littered with men who are facing strong moral dilemmas. The obvious issue would be to continue with battle or withdraw and let others do the work. These conflicts have survived since the ancient epics of Ireland, Greece, and India; even to present day war in Iraq. The Mahabharata and The Tain are both ancient epics that contain numerous examples of heroism, controversy, moral uncertainty, love, and pride. The characters of these epics are faced with like situations. While Arjuna in The Mahabharata and Cuchulainn in The Tain have similar aspects in their lives, they inexorably differ in their actions. Some choose similar paths; however, others go another way. Both being either born or raised into heroism, Arjuna and Cuchulainn face great moral ambiguity and are both faced with a decision in the midst of war; Arjuna chooses the path of disgrace, while Cuchulainn acts with honor. Arjuna’s lineage makes him an instantaneous hero; however, Cuchulainn is destined for greatness then guided to it by his mentors. During the conception and birth of the sons of Pandu, Indra took a liking to Kunti. “The illustrious Kunti invoked Indra, the lord of the celestials, who came to her and begot Arjuna,” (NAWL, 962). When Arjuna is referred to as a prince, “As soon as the prince was born” (962), it is solely due to the fact that Indra is his ‘father’. His fame of birth comes with a certain destiny: “This child will be as strong as Kartavirya and Sibi, invincible in battle as Indra himself. He will spread your fame everywhere, and will acquire many celestial weapons” (963). Because this is prophesized only when Arjuna is born, and not about any of Pandu’s other sons, it foreshadows that Arjuna will be the greatest of all of the five Pandavas. Even though Cuchulainn is not born into royalty, he is also fated to greatness.
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Cuchulainn was the son of Sualdam mac Roich who did not give him instant significance. When judgment was given as to who will raise the boy, it was decided that all of the great men of Ireland would take part. “In this manner he will be formed by all – chariot-fighter, prince and sage.
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