History - Hist 1111 T/TR 3rd, April 2010 Gilgameshs...

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Hist 1111 T/TR 3rd, April 2010 Gilgamesh’s Makeover The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Great Abydos Inscriptions of Ramses II share many common themes throughout the two stories. Ramses II is the leader of Lower and Upper Egypt and Gilgamesh is the leader of the Mesopotamian city of Uruk. Separately they have different styles of ruling; however, they both struggle for similar goals and learn from obstacles that occur through out their life. Both, Ramses II and Gilgamesh have their own positives and negatives, but the main goal for these two leaders is eternal life and reign through the gods. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but the foremost ambition for both leaders is perpetual life or reign through the gods and control over their cities as told in the Great Abydos Inscription and The Epics of Gilgamesh. History lays in the trust of the authors that convey the authority and power or in Gilgamesh’s case the lack of authority and relative weakness of these rulers. We put all our faith in the legitimacy of written history. However, history can be very questionable, after all history rests with the person who recorded the stories. In the documents, both individuals grasp that they have to do and be something noble for the community so they respect them as perpetual leaders and it took written word to allow us to remember them today. Both use their authority for something superior. The Epic of Gilgamesh begins with a man by the name of Gilgamesh, who is part god and part human. King Gilgamesh, an arrogant tyrant, sends a town prostitute to a wild man, who goes by the name of Enkidu. She is sent to test his will and tempt his sexual desires by luring him in.
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The prostitute succeeds and the wild animals no longer accept Enkidu. Gilgamesh had many flaws as a leader over Uruk. The narrator describes him as, “Gilgamesh was a godlike man alone with his thought in idleness except for those evening when he went down into the marketplace to the Family House to sleep with the virgin.” He does not consider his people and their importance they truly are to his immortality, which he greatly desires ( Gilgamesh , Herbert Mason trans. [New York, 2003], p. 18). Alone, Gilgamesh is a very stern leader and cruel to his people. He rapes women as he pleases and sleeps with virgin brides before they are wed. He is hated by nearly all. He is a very powerful ruler but awful one. In contrast, Ramses II is regarded as Egypt’s utmost, most renowned, and most influential pharaoh. We witness Ramses behave in various ways, as an imperious leader resented by his community, a daring and robust fighter, a disheartened, miserable man, and lastly as a gentleman who appears satisfied with what he's accomplished. In the course of these transitions, we see Gilgamesh's feelings concerning life
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History - Hist 1111 T/TR 3rd, April 2010 Gilgameshs...

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