Gilgamesh vs Socrates

Topics: Death, Epic poetry, Reincarnation Pages: 2 (449 words) Published: April 1, 2013
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was one of the strongest men to walk the earth. They said his power could only be matched by Enkidu. In The Death of Socrates, Socrates was respected by every person who came to visit him before he died. Socrates was mentally and physically powerful. He wasn’t afraid of anything, not even of death. This is where both men were different in strength. Socrates was able to face death without fright whereas Gilgamesh was taunted in fear by the idea of dying, therefore Socrates is emotionally a stronger man then Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh pleaded to be saved from death because every thought he had of the afterlife was negative. “I saw lions, and I was terrified!.....Save me!” Gilgamesh feared death even more after his friend, Enkidu, died. He would imagine the afterlife in a horrible way that he began pleading to the gods to save him. He didn’t want to die, or end up like Enkidu. The afterlife was depicted in this dream he had, and this dream caused him to roam about the land crying and admitting his fear of death.

Socrates didn’t think twice about death because he new that it was his time and wasn’t afraid for the life the gods had in store for him. When Socrates was dying, his entire group of friends began to weep and he said, “What is this strange outcry? I sent away the women mainly in order that they might not misbehave in this way, for I have been told that a man should die in piece. Be quiet then and have patience.” Socrates drank the poison without doubting for a second why he was doing so. His friend even tried to stall the process, but Socrates wanted no extra time. He felt that this was his time to go, and he was ready to be taken. There was never a negative thought in his mind about the afterlife.

Each story came from a different culture and time. By reading The Epic of Gilgamesh, it is easy for the reader to conclude that this culture depicted a horrific afterlife. In The Death of Socrates, it is obvious that the...
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