Sunday, December 19, 2010

The essence of Friendships/Relationships in Literature

By James Soyemi
Through two semesters of Mosaics, we were introduced to various forms of literature documentary such as Greek mythology, epics, novels, and documentaries. The Epic of Gilgamesh and Iliad are two epics that illustrate and depict how important friendships/relationships are in one’s life. The friendship between Gilgamesh/Enkidu and Achilles/Patroclus signifies the essence of great relationships. Gilgamesh and Enkidu have a non-sexual love relationship, similar to that of Achilles and Patroclus. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the death of Enkidu was significant to the change in Gilgamesh’s life. As a result of Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh went on a journey to discover the meaning of life. He wanted eternal life, but Gilgamesh found out he couldn’t get eternal life, he didn’t dwell over it. Gilgamesh used Enkidu’s death as an eye opener and accepted Death. In iliad, Patroclus’s death made Achilles go on his own journey. The journey was to return to the war to avenge his friend’s death. The love Achilles had for Patroclus made him slaughter countless numbers of opposing soldiers. Achilles, who once fought for prizes and honor, used Patroclus’s death as the main reason for fighting again. The connection between both Epics was that friendship can change anyone, even the people with a lot of power in society.

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