W. B Monday October 1, 2012 Compare / Contrast Essay The differences and similarities between Ramayana and Gilgamesh are very noticeable. In my opinion Ramayana and Gilgamesh are like water and wine. While they both fight battles and they are both important people in their home lands, they have totally different ways of going about life and totally different views on their power as king. “To bad as well as good, to all, A generous man compassion shows; On earth no mortal lives, he knows, Who does not oft through weakness fall. ”- Ramayana.
This quote to me means that all men are equal, one must show compassion towards all things because no matter what journey we take we all come to the same end. Like Gilgamesh, Ramayana was also born into a very wealthy family and destined to become king of his empire. However, unlike Gilgamesh, Ramayana was a very noble and kind hearted ruler. Ramayana was respected and loved by his people who all knew he would one day make a great king. Gilgamesh on the other hand was already king and abused his power. Instead of being a great ruler and looking out for his people, he only thought of himself.
Gilgamesh made his people work very hard, and to be even worse he raped the brides on their wedding nights. “I have peered over the city wall, I have seen the corpses floating in the river’s water. So too it will come to pass for me, so it will happen to me… Since no man can avoid life’s end, I would enter the mountain land and set up my name. ” – Gilgamesh This quote I think best describes Gilgamesh and shows just how selfish and arrogant he is. He sees the pain and sorrow of his people and realizes that no one escapes death but instead of trying to help them out he tries to figure out a way to become immortal.
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Gilgamesh and Ramayana both go through battles that show their strengths. However, Gilgamesh goes searching for his battles and Ramayana’s battles are brought upon him. After being banished from his kingdom Ramayana goes to live in the forest with his wife and brother. They live in harmony and peace until the evil demon king Ravana takes away Ram’s wife Sita in revenge for Ram having disfigured Ravana’s sister. This event brings out the warrior in Ram and he goes to the end of the world to save his love. Gilgamesh’s battles are very different. They are merely battles he seeks to show off how powerful he is.
Gilgamesh unlike Ram does not know what love is or how to love someone until he meets Enkidu, who is his soulmate, his equal. Gilgamesh and Enkidu both set of on journeys together to conquer evil and help Gilgamesh find immortality. In the end of his journey Gilgamesh looses Enkidu as a punishment from the gods and never reaches immortality the way he hoped, he does however turn in to a much nicer person. Ramayana on the other hand fights the battles that he is obligated too, saves his wife and also saves other prisoners of his evil opponents. In the end he goes back home and takes back his place as the king of his empire.
Ramayana and Gilgamesh though living similar lives are two very different people. A kind hearted and peace loving Ramayana only fights when he has no choice and has always known the importance of his people and his family. Where as a cold hearted, and evil Gilgamesh has to experience pain and sorrow before becoming a nicer more contentious person. All the power that Gilgamesh has makes him think he is better and above all on the other hand all the power that Ram has does nothing to him he is always a kind hearted individual. Both Ramayana and Gilgamesh end up becoming immortal in that their legends live on.
They both believe in the power of the gods and that they are very important. Except Ramayana respects the gods and Gilgamesh thinks so highly of himself he believes the gods are on his side because of how strong he is until he learns the hard way that he too can be punished. The stories of Ramayana and Gilgamesh were very similar in that they both had life journeys, battles and other difficulties to overcome. The epics also show just how different both characters are even though they live through similar life events and end up the same.. dead but immortal through the passing of their stories.
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