Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus
Write a three to four (3-4) page paper (750-1,000 words) essay comparing these two (2) heroic figures from ancient epics of different cultures, especially focusing your analysis on the sources about their encounters with monsters: Gilgamesh encounters the monster guarding the forest, Humbaba, in Tablets 3-5 of the Epic of Gilgamesh (see http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/; scroll down to the Tablet links; think of “Tablet” numbers like chapter numbers).” Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the Cyclops in Book 9 of The Odyssey (see http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey9.html; from line 105 to the end). Your paper should:
a) Compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus as to their heroic qualities, noting similarities and differences, using specific examples from the epics.
b) Summarize what this indicates about differences between ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures in their ideals and expectations.
c) From this comparison, suggest ways that current cultural ideals and expectations shape modern notions about role models and heroes.
Establish a clear thesis about your topic as part of the introductory paragraph (often the thesis is the last thing one determines after doing the basic research and outline; however it will be placed in the first paragraph of your paper).
This is a comparative essay. Comparison approached properly will require some critical thinking on your part. Use a point-by-point approach for the essay. That means, if comparing subject A with subject B, don’t do the first half of the essay on subject A and then the second half on subject B–that will seem like two (2) separate essays and comparisons will tend to get lost. Instead, you should be mentioning both subjects in most of your paragraphs as you compare them throughout the essay. Comparisons will identify similarities as well as contrasts.
Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides. Both in-text citations and a References list are required. Citations and references must follow APA style format.
Include a concluding paragraph at the end. This paragraph will, in some way, refer back to the thesis established in your first paragraph, since now you have demonstrated and supported it. It may be here that you also include your observations relating your study to the modern workplace or society (see your topic).