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Comparing themes in gilgamesh and ramayana - Essay Example

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However, this paper aims at comparing the theme of love as presented by Ramayan and Gilgamesh in their respective works. In writing his piece of work, Ramayan associated love with…
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Comparing themes in gilgamesh and ramayana
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Comparing Themes in Gilgamesh and Ramayana The Epic of Ramayan, as well as that of Gilgamesh, expounds on many diverse themes in the society. However, this paper aims at comparing the theme of love as presented by Ramayan and Gilgamesh in their respective works. In writing his piece of work, Ramayan associated love with unity. This is in connection with how he related the four brothers in his epic. For instance, he claimed that the four brothers; Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana, and Satrughna grew as close friends because of the love they had towards each other (Lawall 1172). However, he emphasizes more on the strong love that existed between Rama and Lakshmana. In tandem with this assertion, Ramayan claimed that Rama and Lakshmana worked together with and defeated Taraka as requested by Vishvamitra. Ramayan further expounds on the theme of love by explaining how Rama managed to marry Sita, the daughter of King Janaka. The unification of Rama and Sita in marriage was a clear indication of the essence of love in relationships (Lawall 1172). In addition to this, Ramayan also expounds on how the love that existed between Rama and Sita as well as between Rama and Lakshmana made the three of them to go into exile in Dandaka Forest in response to the banishment of Rama (Lawall 1172). Towards the end of the epic, the brothers of Sita fight and defeat Surpanakha, the giantess who had attacked Sita. Their support for their sister in time of need is also a good portrayal of the theme of love in the epic. Despite providing lots of evidence on how love united the characters in the epic, it is evident that there existed lust between some characters in the epic. For instance, the doubt Rama had on Sita was an indication of lack of trust between the couples (Lawall 1174). Additionally, the swallowing of Sita by the ground beneath her was also a clear indication of Sita’s unfaithfulness. However, love made Rama decide to follow Sita to eternity instead of going to heaven.
Just like in the Ramayana’s epic, the epic of Gilgamesh expounds on how love united Enkidu with Gilgamesh. The love between Enkidu and Gilgamesh was just like the love that existed between Rama and Lakshmana. According to Gilgamesh’s epic, it is the friendship love of Gilgamesh that changed Enkidu from a wild man to a noble person. On the other hand, it is also the friendship love of Enkidu that changed Gilgamesh from a tyrant to an exemplary king (Lawall 96). In connection with this, the epic asserts that love enabled the two men to pull each other from their respective weaknesses. Additionally, the epic further expounds on how grief and terror impelled Gilgamesh after the death of Enkidu. It was as a result of the loss of a close friend that Gilgamesh turned his interest on temple harlot. In tandem with this assertion, it is evident that Gilgamesh’s epic differs slightly from Ramayana’s epic. For instance, it is clear that the theme of love in Gilgamesh revolves mainly around men (Sandars 71). Additionally, it is clear that the sexual relationship between Gilgamesh and the temple harlot lacks love initiation; the relationship between Gilgamesh and Ishtar did not last for long. The two parted after realizing that their places were not the same. Thus, the two did not end up in the same place after death because they did not love each other like Rama and Sita.
Works Cited
Lawall, Sarah. The Norton Anthology of World Literature, General Editor. Norton & company: New York, 2002.
Sandars, N. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: Penguin Books Limited, 1973. Read More
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