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In this essay I am going to deal with the two epic texts called The Epic of Gilgamesh and Homers Odyssey For both texts I will discuss the cultural value of heroism In order to make a good analysis of both texts we have to know what Epic means Websters defines it as a long poetic composition usually centered upon a hero in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style Websters Universal College Dictionary New York Gramercy Books 1997 In each of the texts there is a protagonist as a hero these are Gilgamesh and Odysseus Odysseus of Homers The Odyssey is an appropriate hero and ruler of Ithaca He does not act irrationally but contemplates his actions and their implications Odysseus is a perfect example of a hero because he embodies the values of bravery intelligence and competency Odysseus is an appropriate ruler for Ithaca by virtue of his hereditary right to kingship as well as his diplomatic skills familiarity with his male subjects discipline and his impartiality and compassion ltwwwgeocitiescomCapitolHilllobby1777paperslodysseyhtmlgt accessed on 20032003 In the Odyssey Homer depicts Odysseus as a very brave character He must be brave in order to be a hero You must not cling to your boyhood any longer8212its time you were a man Havent you heard what glory Prince Orestes won throughout the world when he killed that cunning murderous Aegisthus whod killed his famous father And you my friend8212how tall and handsome I see you now8212be brave you too so men to come will sing your praises down the years Fagles Robert The Odyssey New York Penguin Books1996 p87 The values and expectations of Greek society are very clearly indicated in this quotation While Odysseus is trying to return home from Ilium there were lots of men attempting to persuade his wife to marry them these are the suitors And at the home there is his son Telemachus who have
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