Comparison and Contrast of the Driving Force of Plot in Medea by Euripides, Othello by William Shakespeare, and the Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Heroism has always been the force for many actions. People want to be brave and to perform rather risky actions searching for excitements, fame and pursuing other particular purposes.

Heroism is widely discussed in world literature. Many authors used heroism as the central ideas for discussion making the actions conducted by the heroes the central force for other activities and thinking processes. Reading Medea by Euripides, Othello by William Shakespeare, and The Epic of Gilgamesh it becomes obvious that the driving force of plot is heroism, however, the nature of that heroism is different that may be explained by the diversity of the objectives which may force people for brave actions.

Medea by Euripides tells a story about a woman who is supposed to help people just because she wants to be useful. However, in many cases the reasons for her heroism are not the desire to be useful or famous among others, she wants to get more.

Falling in love with Jason, Medea does the actions which seem to be crazy, however heroic (Euripides 25). At the same time, Medea is able to perform awful actions which seem heroic due to their risky nature. Heroism is mostly defined as the desire to perform a courageous action, but people do not usually pay attention to the nature and consequences of those actions which may be devil.

Reading Othello, it is possible to contradict that heroism is the driving force for the plot. Of course, jealousy and the desire to protect a daughter from the marriage with Othello make Brabantio think about some particular actions which might be rather provocative.

But Iago is a person who wants to be a hero in the eyes of his master and makes all possible to satisfy the desire of Brabantio to help him get rid of Othello (Shakespeare 97). However, Iago is too timid to act open and does everything with the help of Roderigo whom he kills when he believes everything is done. The heroism of Iago in this case is based on the desire to be the first but using the hands of other people.

Gilgamesh wants to be immortal, therefore all his actions are based on the desire to find the way to remain alive. He does many actions, comes through battles, etc., but he is unable to reach the set goal (“The epic of Gilgamesh” 210). Being a hero, Gilgamesh remains unsatisfied with his actions as he cannot become immortal. At the end of the play Gilgamesh has to accept the situation.

Therefore, it is possible to conclude that heroism is the part of each of the story and people are driven by the desire to become heroes, however, the nature and reasons for that heroism are absolutely different. Love, the desire to be useful and the personal profit are the ideas which become the reasons for driving force of heroism in the plays. Therefore, it may be concluded that all human actions are reasoned by their feelings.

At the same time people want to be heroes and do all possible to satisfy their needs even though the heroism may be explained both by positive and negative aspects. Reading Medea by Euripides, Othello by William Shakespeare, and The Epic of Gilgamesh, it is possible to find many reasons for human actions and as a result for the driving force of the plot, however, the desire to be famous and act heroic actions remains the predominant one.

Works Cited

Euripides, Svarlien, Diane Arnson and Robin Mitchell-Boyask. Medea. Hackett Publishing, 2008. Print.

Shakespeare, William and Julie Hankey. Othello. Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print.

“The epic of Gilgamesh.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. Print.

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