“By the waters of Babylon” Vs Epic of Gilgamesh. A lot of stories concerning religions and cultures have lot of similarities and differences, despite the fact that they are not from the same era of time. Humans used these stories and writings to express their culture and religious views. “By the Waters of Babylon” is very similar to the writings of the Mesopotamian writings in The Epic of Gilgamesh more specificlay “The story of the flood” and “The Return”.
These similarities include many gods in both, a unique quality in the characters of both than can include “born to greatness”, people of both writings lead to their death themselves, John and Gilgamesh Come home with lessons. etc In most of all ancient influences, there are characters in the stories, who are born to some kind of greatness, or we can say, a special type of person.
In “By the Waters of Babylon” when John and his father goes to the dead places, John, explains that only priest can touch metal and are believed to have special powers that no other normal human being would have , “and then he who touches the metal must be a priest or the son of a priest” (Benet 75). This shows how is John born to greatness, being the son of a priest and can touch metal wherever he wants. The priests are believed to have special powers that no other normal human being would have.
This compares to the Epic of Gilgamesh, when Author of Epic of Gilgamesh said “Two thirds they made him god and one third man” (Prologue). This shows how Gilgamesh was born to greatness by having 1/3 characteristics of man and 2/3 of god and this compares the born to greatness in both the writings . Some religions and cultures believe in one god; monotheistic religions, and others believe in many gods; polytheistic religions.
In “By the Waters of Babylon” Benet’s main character, John, speaks of The Place of the Gods, “It is forbidden to cross the great river and look upon the place that was the Place of the Gods –this is most strictly forbidden” (75). When speaking of gods house means multiple gods, this shows that the religion in which John follows is polytheistic and worships many gods. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh speaks of the names of the gods, means a lot of gods ,“There was Anu, lord of the firmament, their father, and warrior Enlil their counselor, Ninurta the helper, and Ennugi watcher over canals” (N.
K. Sandars 25). This shows that the Mesopotamians and people from “By the Waters of Babylon” were both polytheistic and believed in multiple gods. Almost in all writings there are lessons or message that characters learns in the end ,the same thing happened in our story, where ,Gilgamesh and John both learned lessons in the end of their voyage or journey . In “By the waters of Babylon” when john returns from the Place of Gods ,“But they are men who build the city, not dos or demons. ”John says “They are men . I remember a dead man’s face” (Benet 85).
This shows how John came home with a message, about the ,City of the Gods, that it is really New York City, and the gods were actually humans, so they have nothing to fear. And on the other side, Gilgamesh also comes home with a lesson which is that immortality is not obtained by some flower or going on a journey but you can be in hearts of the tourists and explorers but making your name fame , which Gilgamesh does but making Uruk’s walls and being in the hearts of people forever. And so, with that it proves a lesson learned in both writings.