Gilgamesh and Sappho's common theme on "the end of life".

Essay by churcoB+, January 2009

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Death is a universal reality of things that happen on earth. Some accept death for what it is while others try to avoid it. This notion is clearly explored in the poems of Sappho and Gilgamesh. Both look into death, but only Sappho accepts it as a process of life in which the end is not so pleasant. Sappho is fearless towards the unknown and is not fazed by the concept of death or decay. Gilgamesh on the other hand, tries to overcome death by exploring different journeys to obtain immortality and gain physical strenght. Being invincible is his main goal that he tries to accomplish. Gilgamesh’s selfish nature of life only results in him looking out to defeat death; whereas, Sappho just wants to understand this natural human cycle of life.

Sappho learns to accept the principle of life and this aids her in accepting death more freely and easily.

She allows nature to go on with its course without any objections and is not afraid of change. The process by which one ages and goes through life is unique and magnificent. “Sappho describes these physical changes as gifts, which may be why she accepts and cherishes nature and life.” (Barnstone,111). She fulfills her life as per the laws of nature, so at the time of death, she is happy and has no regrets. These characteristics allow her to be positive about death because she knows they are part of nature and life. She acknowledges that these changes are out of her reach and that there is nothing she can do to stop this natural phenomenon from happening. She feels it is better to just accept things the way they are because there is nothing anyone can do to change nature's course.

Sappho believes that a person...