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of greek and roman classics Gilgamesh and Odysseus

Gilgamesh and Odysseus were two heroes from two totally different time periods that were both in search of the meaning of life. The epics that the two characters are featured in Gilgamesh, was developed from early Mesopotamia and the Odyssey in early Greece. Gilgamesh was a very popular and it was very valuable to the historian of Mesopotamian culture because it reveals much about the religious world, such as their attitudes toward the gods, how a hero was defined and regarded, views about death and friendship.
The Odyssey was also very popular in it's time. It was set in ancient Greece where in its culture; mythology was the heart of everyday life. The Greek Culture turned to mythology to explain different phenomena for which they had no scientific explanation and this was prominent in the epic the Odyssey.
While preparing to write this paper, I thought it would be great just to focus on the heroes of these two great epics many differences. Although during the course of my research I found that they also had just as many similarities. In this paper I will focus on the two characters by expressing their differences, as well as their similarities, and I will also give a bit of history about our two heroes.
Gilgamesh, the hero from the epic Gilgamesh, was the historical king of Uruk in Babylonia, on the river Euphrates in modern Iraq: he lived about 2700B.C. Odysseus, the hero from the epic the Odysseus, was the ruler of the island kingdom of Ithaca. He was one of the most prominent Greek leaders of the Trojan War. Both of these men were granted certain strengths, Gilgamesh had physical, while Odysseus had mental strengths.
Gilgamesh was a very self confident and at times that self confidence led to him to have little compassion for the people of Uruk at he beginning of the story. He was their king, but not their protector; he kills their sons and rapes their daughters. He felt like he was superior to others due to the fact that he was two-thirds god, his mother was a goddess Ninsun and one third human. This fact is the key to all of his actions. This is also what sets him apart from the hero Odysseus.
While Gilgamesh was a hero thought to be more beautiful, more courageous, more terrifying than all of the people of Uruk. Even though his desires, attributes, and accomplishments were just as there's, he was still mortal. He had to experience the deaths of others and ultimately die himself.
Odysseus's character was also very self confident and was most known for his cleverness and cunning, and for his eloquence as a speaker. Odysseus was said to be the "hero of a thousand disguises" He is the forever loyal husband, who eyes are fixed on the goal of, returning home. Although he faces great trials, tribulations, and temptations, nothing stands in the way of his ultimate imperative.
He was also an eternal wander, fired with the passion of knowledge and experience. Even when he returns home from his journey, he must set out again and continue wandering until death. His great sprit is shown throughout the entire epic. He was much respected from the beginning of this epic until the very end and this is what sets him apart from Gilgamesh.
Odysseus was at time an anti-hero, just like Gilgamesh was in the beginning of his epic. He was also mean, very selfish time-server who employs disguise and deceit often to gain the most disreputable ends. Many classical Greeks and Romans frequently saw him in this light.
Both of the heroes represent godlike mental, physical, and spiritual power to the task of overcoming supernatural enemies. Gilgamesh and Odysseus are both men who have been granted certain strengths, one with physical, while the other one has been granted mental strength. Sometimes there were careful in the decisions they made with the extreme power they possessed, and at other times they were careless.
Gilgamesh and Odysseus had to experience many hardships and make certain mistakes. They seem to find themselves, through life lessons, just like any average man and the fact that Gilgamesh is part god ultimately has no ... more

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Corbeill

Anthony Corbeill. Controlling Laughter: Political Humor in the Late Roman Republic.
Anthony Corbeill is an Associate Professor of Classics, and holds a degree in Classical Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Corbeill teaches Greek and Latin at all levels, Roman Civlilization, and Greek and Roman Mythology. He is a member of the American Philological Association, the American Classical League, and the Society of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome.
Controlling Laughter is a well-organized study which utilizes an original approach to a significant topic. Corbeill categorizes the uses of humorous invective in the political speeches of Cicero and then argues that the efficacy of these jibes depended on certain attitudes and biases found in Roman society during the Late Republic.
This book fits within the minor recrudescence of original work on Ciceronian oratory, a well-trodden subject that might seem to have exhausted its scholarly potential long ago. A number of recent works, however, have found fresh material by moving away from strictly textual analysis and focusing on more performative aspects of Roman rhetoric and on how orators such as Cicero may have appealed to contemporary audiences. These speeches were, after all, originally meant to be delivered as public performances, not merely read. Corbeill organizes his book around four broad categories of verbal abuse found in Cicero's speeches: mockery of physical peculiarities, jokes about names, and insults focusing on the mouth and on effeminate behavior. A final chapter briefly considers other Late Republican politicians' attitudes towards humor.
Chapter 1, "Physical Peculiarities," is based on Corbeill's interpretation of the Roman willingness to equate physical abnormalities with moral deficiency. In his theoretical works Cicero argues that a man's appearance is a reflection of his character and that "nature" provides these deformities as warnings. Such attitudes are perhaps not surprising in a society where deformed babies could be exposed, and disfigured people barred from holding office. If an opponent of Cicero was unfortunate enough to bear any unpleasant physical abnormality, it quickly became the object of a storm of insults and jokes. The most notable example of this concerns Publius Vatinius, who suffered from some nasty pustular facial swellings. Corbeill nicely illustrates how Cicero exploits these swellings so that they nearly become the focus of Cicero's oration and inspire his use of metaphorical language even when he is not directly describing them.
Chapter 2, "Names and Cognomina," turns to one of the peculiarities of Roman society, that members of certain office-holding families in Rome possessed a third name, the cognomen, which often were physical descriptions. Some of the more obvious examples of this include: Strabo "cross-eyed," Verrucosus "warty," Caesar "hairy," Clodius "gimpy," and of course, Cicero "the chickpea." As Corbeill notes, it is odd that what seems to have been a badge of distinction was frequently irreverent. These cognomina offered fertile ground for an orator. How could Cicero not make use of the happy coincidence, for example, that at a famous trial for embezzlement and greed, the defendant was named Verres, "the pig"? Corbeill amply demonstrates the exploitation of such names by Cicero, and also attempts to offer some explanations for this curious Roman naming custom.
Chapters 3, "Moral Appearance in Action: Mouths," and 4, "Moral Appearance in Action: Effeminacy," turn to the area of sexuality and to physical signifiers of immorality. The mouth was the focal point for an entire range of potentially negative activities, from drinking to sex, and therefore figures prominently in Ciceronian rhetoric. Corbeill builds on these associations by beginning Chapter 4 with a look at debauched behavior at feasts by effeminate male banqueters, and proceeds to consider effeminate behavior in general. Rhetorical jibes on these topics were focused as much on defining what was the proper appearance and behavior for an aristocrat as on identifying deviance.
The final chapter, "A Political History of Wit," broadens the scope of the study by attempting to trace the attitude towards political humor of other major Late Republican figures, in particular Pompey and Julius Caesar. Most interesting in this chapter is how Corbeill charts variations in Caesar's opinion of and tolerance for political humor as his own political fortunes wax and wane.
Throughout this ... more

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