Monomyth Theory in Gilgamesh and Oedipus
According to Arthur Brown, it is through stories that we find out to accept our constraints as people. Whether told by bards, written on clay tablets or performed in theaters, typical ideals and virtues revealed the significance of the person’s function in society and was frequently expressed in literary works.
It is through stories such as, “The Impressive of Gilgamesh,” a tale that takes a narrative technique to illustrate significant concepts, and, “Oedipus the King,” a complex and terrible play with a psychological catharsis, that the intricacies of humanity are represented by heroes to show how even great and worthy males struggle with limitations and life. Joseph Campbell theorizes that myths share a fundamental structure that he calls monomyths with styles of fate, immortality, free choice, hubris and others. There are 3 stages of transformation that Campbell says a hero should complete: separation, initiation, and return.
This is the monomyth theory. In The Legendary of Gilgamesh, a tyrant king seeks immortality through a journey that causes self-discovery and transformation. The styles of this story are Death of Relationship, Nature and Civilization, Power and Violence, Adventure and Homecoming, Love and Sexuality, and Obligation and Repercussions for One’s Actions. Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one-third guy, and he has problem with the restrictions of his humanity, specifically his death. It is his rejection to accept death and his desire to overcome it which marks the start of the separation stage of the monomyth.
Nature and Civilization: Gilgamesh learns of a wild man living with animals in the hills where shepherds keep their flocks. They are afraid of this creature, so Gilgamesh sends a temple harlot to civilize him. Shamhat, the harlot, informs Enkidu about Gilgamesh, and he chooses to challenge the oppressive king. They fight and then yield to the other that they are equal in strength and the two ended up being buddies. Love and Sexuality: Gilgamesh was an autocrat in Uruk who raped women as he pleased, making him quite uncivilized. Enkidu, however, ends up being civilized as an outcome of sex with Shamhat.
After Gilgamesh and Enkidu end up being good friends, they feel a terrific love for one another, and it is the love Gilgamesh feels for Enkidu that is an encouraging factor in his change. Their friendship pulls Gilgamesh in a positive instructions, making him less self-centered and a much better leader. Adventure and Homecoming are main to Arthur Brown’s theory, and the tale of Gilgamesh follows this style through 2 fantastic experiences. The very first one takes place in the Cedar Forest where Gilgamesh and Enkidu decide to cut down trees for wood to build city walls.
They kidnap Humbaba and after that decide to murder him for popularity and magnificence. He was a beast, and everyone hesitated of him. The upset gods send out the Bull of Heaven to deal with Gilgamesh and Enkidu, but they kill him also. The second big experience takes place when Gilgamesh sets out on his journey to find Utanapishtim. Death of Friendship: Gilgamesh speaks deeply to the loss of human life and conquering pain as he comes to the awareness that death is unavoidable for all males. Enkidu, his kindred spirit and dearest friend, accompanies Gilgamesh on experiences in a mysterious world.
After beheading Humbaba and killing the Bull of Paradise, the gods decide Enkidu should pass away as punishment for their deeds. Gilgamesh holds his friend in his arms, refusing to believe that he is genuinely dead till he sees a maggot crawl from Enkidu’s nose. This is the moment the process of initiation and improvement begins for Gilgamesh. He unexpectedly realizes that death is genuine and will be his inevitable fate. Gilgamesh sets out to find the never-ceasing, Utanapishtim, who survived the Terrific Flood to discover the secret to immortality. He fulfills Siduri and Urshanabi, who encourage and direct him.
When he finally finds Utanapishtim, he is told to abandon his look for immortality and live life in today. Refusing to give up, Gilgamesh attempts to secure a “plant of renewal,” however stops working when a snake steals the plant. At this moment, Gilgamesh unexpectedly understands that what he looks for does not exist. He exits this revelation step of improvement completely understanding that he will pass away. We all die, but how we pick to live life is what matters. As he reflects on his journey, he feels enlightened and understands that he needs to return home to compensate his past. With this supreme advantage, Gilgamesh returns to Uruk, a hero.
Gilgamesh conquers his obstacles in the end, but he struggles throughout most of his journey, not able to comprehend the abstract ideas of immortality. If you wish to alter your life, alter your mind. This is the lesson that Gilgamesh finally found out. It is not that man can live forever, however that he can live forever in men through his legacy. Through acts of Power and Violence, Gilgamesh finds out that he can not conquer his human fate, nor can he disregard the will of the gods who expect piety and obedience from all males otherwise face devastating and violent repercussions.
The final style of Gilgamesh is Duty and Consequences for One’s Actions. The repercussions of Enkidu’s tryst with Shamhat led to his loss of innocence and being displaced of the animal world and into civilization and the disrespect Gilgamesh revealed to the gods had devastating effects. In the end, Gilgamesh accepted responsibility for his actions, comprehended his restrictions, accepted his fate, and moved toward atonement. Unlike, “The Legendary of Gilgamesh,” Sophocles’s catastrophe, “Oedipus the King,” does not end on a high note.
The essential qualities Aristotle recommends that an awful hero must possess are “awful flaw,” reversal of fortune, discovery or anagnorisis, hubris, and undeserving fate. The awful hero Oedipus, starts with individual concerns he needs to resolve, similar to the impressive hero Gilgamesh. He goes on his journey where he encounters barriers and mystery that lead him to improvement and enlightenment. When the legendary hero returns home, he is a much better guy. Sadly, the tragic hero can not conquer the awful flaw that ultimately causes his fall from grace.
Oedipus thinks he is doing an honorable thing when he leaves Korinth as a young man. He refuses to accept his fate that he will eliminate his daddy and wed his mom, as the prediction has actually predicted. When he reaches a crossroad, he encounters a gang of males, and there is a run-in. He believes he is going to pass away, so he safeguards himself, killing every guy in the group, not recognizing that one of the men is his birth father, King Laois. Continuing his journey, Oedipus approaches evictions of Thebes where he outsmarts the Sphinx by resolving a riddle and freeing the city from captivity.
He becomes their heroic king and marries, Jokasta, the widowed queen of King Laois. For many years, Oedipus guidelines Thebes effectively and begins a family with his queen. His role as king and protector of Thebes is very crucial to him, and he takes it seriously. He feels obliged to solve the mystery around the murder of King Laois when he discovers it will assist the city conquer the pollution that plagues its individuals, even when the evidence leads him in an instructions that might uncover a dark truth about himself. Oedipus has little memory of his origins, pointing out that he was too young to keep in mind.
He does not rather recall what happened at the crossroads where he eliminated several males after leaving Korinth. From his viewpoint, it was self-defense. He made it through and carried on without home on it since he felt his actions were warranted. He was strong of character and to harp on such matters would have eaten at his conscience and demoralized him, making him weak. The turnaround of fortune happens for Oedipus when the messenger exposes that King Polybus and Queen Merope of Korinth were not his birth parents. Oedipus now understands (anagnorisis) he is the child of Laios and Jokasta.
The guy he eliminated was King Laois, his daddy, and Jokasta, the female he wed, is his genuine mom. After discovering the fact about his identity, Oedipus weeps out in self-pity just before he gouges out his eyes, “Ahhh! My life screams in discomfort. Where is my suffering taking me? How far does my voice fly, fluttering out there in the wind? O God, how far have you tossed me?” (Norton, p. 519, line 1484). The audience views the disaster play out in scary, all the while knowing that his penalty is even worse than the crime, and there is absolutely nothing they can do for him but feel pity and sadness.
This is dramatic irony and a critical element of tragedy. The ethical pollution in Thebes is not all on Oedipus, however as leader and hero, he accepts obligation and he ends up being the sacrificial victim to take in the ills they all suffer. We pity him since he advises us of our possible and constraints. We see the style of Wisdom and Understanding through Oedipus as a great and smart ruler who cares about his individuals, and when the horrible reality reveals itself, he is willing to accept death as a repercussion.
Both Oedipus and Gilgamesh battle with their constraints, however it is the impressive hero who will be victorious while the tragic hero falls. Oedipus’ hubris was his tragic flaw, however in his function as a tragic hero, he can not return from his fall from grace. As an epic hero, Gilgamesh recognizes his limitations and can alter and compensate past inconsistencies that enable him to return home a hero, in spite of his hubris. Through Gilgamesh and Oedipus, we learn that terrific and honorable guys indeed struggle to acknowledge their constraints, however when they stop working to conquer them, the repercussions can be ravaging.