1. Gender roles in Gilgamesh 2
2. Gender roles in Odysseus 4
Works cited 7
Among many ancient epic works of literature, there are several that stand out separately. Among such outstanding works are “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Odysseus”. Both of these epics have significantly influenced ancient and modern culture; have inspired a great number of poets, writers and artists to create new masterpieces. Both epics have survived through thousands of years, were first passed from generation to generation by oral traditions, and then were presented in written form. Both of these works of literature consist of several parts (tablets in Gilgamesh epic and books in the Odysseus epic). Finally, both of these epics are usually considered to be composed by male authors and for male society. However, at closer consideration the conclusions may be different. The aim of this essay is to analyze gender roles, the images of men and women and to find out whether some of the authors of these epics could be women. The statement of the essay is the following: there is a lot of evidence in the text of “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and in “The Odysseus” proving that some of the authors of these epics were women.
1. Gender roles in Gilgamesh
The epic of Gilgamesh belongs to the earliest known works of literary writings, originating from Sumerian poems and legends, which were transformed into a poem in Akkadian society. The most known version of Gilgamesh nowadays belongs to Assyrian writings, and dates back to 7 century BC. The whole epic, though being full of “traditional” for male audience content such as battles, struggle, travels and deeds, nevertheless contains many images and attitudes for women that are uncharacteristic for the society of that time. Moreover, the unexpected “switching” of roles of men and women (and between men as well) can be noticed in the epic. Therefore, one can make a...