Blog post #4

“Travel, Religion, and Encounters.”

This blog post is focused on three themes; “Travel, Religion, and Encounters.”  After reading few writings from different time frames, and english traditions, such as; Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Classic of Poetry, and Tang Poetry. I would like to focus on Beowulf and Canterbury Tales, specifically on the theme Encounter, moreover on heroes and heroism, how it is similar, and different from each other.

Beowulf is an old english written and it is considered the oldest european writing and the post popular one, said to be 1000 years old, also called Anglo -Saxon. While Canterbury Tales has been written in Middle English out of the three periods, Old English, Middle English, and New English. It was the first time that poetry was included in these types of writing, which led him to be compared with Homer, stating as English Homer.

Beowulf is all about a great warrior that travels to another land to help them fight with a monster named Grendel. Help can be seen in different ways, because in the story the author mentions that Beowulf’s father had a favour from the king of Denmark, who was called King Hrothgar. So that can be one reason, that Beowulf decided to go help their Kingdom, or other reasons can be relating to his character and personality. Taking in consideration, previous readings, and heroes in it, such as Gilgamesh, the help could be based on greediness and show off their power and strength. Not always help it is meant to be an act of kindness, sometimes it is just done to show their own kingdom and neighborhood countries how powerful they are, so they better stay away from him. In thi8s case, this is what it looks like. It can also be defined that, he just wanted to be great, and considered really helpful, and be remembered from everyone, which can lead him to fight the monster, because either way he would have been considered to be sacrificing his life for other in need in this case the kingdom of the king Hrothgar.  If the story was flipped, and grendel had killed him, he would have been considered great and selfless hero, who lost his life in order to return his dad’s favor, which also puts him into a place that he was really good son. In contrast to Canterbury Tales, in which the Knight is totally opposite of Beowulf, in character and personality. Knight is a really modest man, who believes in god and goes to church regularly, and asks forgiveness for killing people in war, while on the other hand, Beowulf, is totally proud for killing the enemies, and it is aggressive and doesn’t really believe in gods. Knight fights in religious wars, for god, while Beowulf fights to kill, which defines their opposite characters, and morals, with similar deeds. Both writings, show different roles of women, such as in Beowulf, women it is not really mentioned and included, or took in consideration, yes, I am talking about king Hrothgar’s wife, who shows to be supportive but also feared from the situation. While on the other side, the wife of Bath, who has a powerful background with five previous marriages, and desires for Art of love. She was considered attractive, clever and smart, by her appearance as she had a gap in her teeth, which build these assumptions and stereotypes. She confronts his opinion and gives the Knight a chance asking him to find out what does women desire! If he would return in a year with the answer he would have set free, otherwise he would be punished and killed.

 

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Blog Post #2

Welcome to the Blog number 2, which is all about Unit 2 that includes; War, Journey, and Ethics. We read the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Oedipus, and The Quran. All four of these wonderful writings can be said to have a similar purpose, somehow, which is to present the connections between humans and gods. How Gods had a strong connection with heroes, that they helped them to survive, achieve the mortality, and win over someone else. Women have a really low position in some of these works, while in others they play a big role to, as a goddesses.

Most of the time, in these antique literature writings, women are portrayed as objects without feelings, they can be used to get pleasure, and treated as objects, and can be used whenever, whoever wants. A big example of this is presented into the Epic of Gilgamesh, where Gilgamesh sends the prostitute Shamhat to seduce Enkidu, for his own protection from unknown creatures that are coming to the city, and that they might be more powerful than him so women can be used to reduce aggression and make them interested into this kind of pleasure. Another, example can be found when Gilgamesh was coming back from his journey to reach the plant in order to obtain immortality, the goddess Ishtar proposed him, and wanted to get married, but Gilgamesh refused giving her reasons for having a bad reputation, and that she has been sleeping with a lot of men, after she kills them or leaves them for no reasons wondering. It is always been like this, that men and women are differentiated just because of the gender, even though they commit same crimes, or take same actions. Taking in consideration, Gilgamesh had a bad reputation too, people did not like him in his kingdom. That might be a reason why his story disappeared, or was hidden on purpose for a thousand of years. Gilgamesh and Ishtar had one big and bad similarity, they both used other people to do the dirty jobs for them, so they won’t be blamed for it, saying this, i personally do not see weather Women has no respect, and gets treated bad, mentoning what he sais, not having a good reputation, while he has all the rights to do the same thing and it is considered alright, or good because they see as amen doing it as sign of manhood. Athena helped Achilles with his conflict with Hector, tricking him by disguising herself as Hector’s friend, standing behind him in support, but when he asks to give him a sword so he could kill Achilles she disappears, let Achilles kill him. 

Coming back to actually finding some similarities between to readings, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Iliad. both are about their heroes and their journey to achieve something, we do not only get to know their story, but we also get to know what are their strenghts, and weaknesses, as humans, even though they can be considered one third of having a divine power. both of them have connections with the gods, and both have somehow goddesses helping them in the conflicts with their enemy. A s mentioned before Gilgamesh is a great warrior and king who has himself  some portion of divine powers and some portion of human parentage (two thirds of divine, and one thirds of human), while Achilles is also a great warrior who is mixed divine and human, but both of them are mortan, and that makes them more similar, as having goddesses as mothers, that help them somehow, either with their own power, or requests to other gods like Zeus. Their struggle was to achieve immortality, 

            Not only Achilles and Gilgamesh, but  Enkidu and Patroclus are similar too. Even though their deaths were to happen in different ways, but the purpose was somehow similar, they both died for the fame of their leader. both of them were uncivilized, did not know how to behave in the human society. Namely, Enkidu is uncivilized, but for unintentional help from Gilgamesh by sending Samhat bring a change in him, and Patroclus is uncivilized plus wild, by choice, as he had killed another human being for no reason, which was another way out to be safe not having to face consequences of his actions. Friendship, mortality, death, pride, and religion, are huge factors to consider in both of these works, and they tend to be the most important things to consider as the story is based on them. 

 

World Lit Blog Post #1

This is my very first blog, and here I will be writing about the readings i’ve been reading in class. The world literature is based on writings of various authors from all around the world, who wrote some good old poems, or origin, from different eras and culture depending on their location.

Today I am writing about one of my favorite story, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which makes a reference to the story Enuma Elish, because both of them have in common some facts. Starting from the very basic, both of these stories include gods, and heroes. Therefore, there are other similarities such as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero himself, King Gilgamesh is trying to defeat Humbaba the giant living in the forest, it’s almost identical to the situation where, Marduk tried to defeat Tiamat in the Enuma Elish.

Both of these heroes, are powerful and really wants to show it off that they are incompatible. Gilgamesh, though he was so powerful after all the battles and victories over enemies we can say, or the characters that he did not like, that he started believing that he deserves to be immortal. Even though he was created by multiple gods together, immortality was the only thing that Gilgamesh was lacking in, and that’s the reason why he tried to live the fullest but this fact made him go around to seek. On the other side, Marduk lived his life to the fullest, somehow like Gilgamesh.

As we read, and we know that Gilgamesh was not one of the best Kings in power, or leader of his city, Uruk, as mentioned in the story, he treated people of Uruk rudely, and was an aggressive leader, who promoted not really good behaviors, and did not follow the traditions and understand the culture itself. Even though he was created by the gods, after the people have complained about him, gods thought of creating someone, another creature that could beat Gilgamesh and it is of his level in power. This is how Enkidu took place in the story, that later on changed and the story take a weird twist, such as Mummu encouraged Apsu to kill. Even the situations became the same, gods gather in the epic of Enuma Elish when the chaos were the only thing going on between humankind, and civilization.

One of the differences that I have noticed, is that women did not have a big role in the epic of Enuma Elish. While in the epic of Gilgamesh, women has a wide role and how they are portrayed it’s kind of disappointing, because it seems like they are used as toys. Whenever the king Gilgamesh wants he can make them a way of entertainment, or send to other to persuade them, while when the Goddess fall in love with him, he rejected saying that, she does not have a good reputation, as she has been with a lot of men and ended up leaving them hurt. While the King himself was committing the same sins they were, but the society judged them harshly then men. Gilgamesh also made other do the dirty work for him, but when it comes to his reputation nobody said a word about his reputation.