A Story of BRAVERY (The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Complete Persepolis) Bravery is a theme that appears in both The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Complete Persepolis. The main characters in both of the books must endure change and come to terms with it. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines brave as feeling or showing no fear; not being afraid. In my exhibit, I argue that Margi, Enkidu, and Gilgamesh, by the end of both works are brave. During their journeys, they experience hardships, failures, and success. Bravery is a unique theme for both of the works because bravery is often only used to describe heroes or supernatural characters; but in the books readers can see that bravery can be depicted through characters who have shortcomings as well.                                                                                        -Project by Morgan Green-

Even though the death of Humbaba was the reason that Enkidu and Gilgamesh fell to their demise, they were both extremely brave. Humbaba, although not quite a god, had the power to curse. Although Humaba told them otherwise, Enkidu and Gilgmesh kept fighting and persevering through their time together. Enkidu opened his mouth to speak, [saying to Gilgamesh:] ‘Do not listen, my [friend,] to Humbaba’s words, [ignore] his supplications……”(The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet V, V156-158). A tree is shown here to depict the cedar tree that was cut down after Enkidu and Gilgamesh defeated Humbaba.
A coffin is shown here to depict Enkidu's bravery after he came to terms with the curse that Humbaba had put on him. After Enkidu had a small surge of resentment against Shamhat, he was able to come to terms with his death and be brave. "Come Shamhat, I will fix your destiny!" ((The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VII, VII 151).
Following Enkidu's death, Gilgamesh goes out on a quest to seek immortality. While doing this he seeks out Uta-napishsti who tells him that he can go to the bottom of the sea to find a plant. Gilgamesh, although slightly fearful is brave in doing this. He wants to achieve immortality so bad and is brave in doing so. A rough ocean is shown here to depict the struggle that he went through to try and get the plant. "This plant, Ur-shanabi, is the "Plant of the Heartbeat", with it a man can regain his vigor." (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet XI, XI 295-296).
A sword is depicted for bravery throughout the Epic of Gilgamesh because of the image that many people described Gilgamesh. He was thought of as a god and very powerful. Although he was brave and used his sword to fight physically, he was mentally thought of as a very brave person amongst the people of Uruk. For a good portion of the 1st tablet of the epic, this is how Gilgamesh is depicted to the reader. "Gilgamesh, the tall, magnificent, and terrible, who opened passes in the mountains, who dug wells on the slopes of the uplands, and crossed the ocean, the wide sea to the sunrise;" (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet I, I 37-40).
A bedroom is shown here to depict Mari's room when she moves to Vienna from her home in Iran. Marji is still a young teenager at the time of her move to Vienna and although she is sad to leave her parents, she puts on a brave face to her new companions. "I just couldn't go. I turned around to see them one last time. It would have been better to just go." (The Complete Persepolis, 153).
A professor with students is depicted here to represent Marji's bravery with her school teachers. On multiple occasions throughout the book, Marji tells off her teachers when she thinks that they are wrong. While she is studying away in Vienna, her teacher makes a value judgement on her and Marji is quick to reply as well. "It's true what they say about you, too. You were all prostitutes before becoming nuns." (The Complete Persepolis, 177) Although Marji is later expelled from her second school, she does not let people talk down on her and belittle her; she is brave even though she is away from her family.
Toward the end of the book on more than one occasion, Marji finally comes to terms with herself. She uses bravery to stand up for herself. A mask is shown her to represent Marji using bravery to finally find herself. "Shut up yourself! My body is my own! I give it to whomever I want! It's nobody else's business! I didn't say everything I could have..." (The Complete Persepolis, 303)
Shown here is a mother with her baby. This picture is used to depict Marji's relationship with both her mother and father. Even as a young child, Marji admired her parents' rebellion. She saw them as heroic rather than wrong and always wanted to follow in their footsteps. Marji is outspoken and brave from a young age. On one occasion, early on in her life, she sneaks out to go to a protest that her parents were attending. Although she knew that there was a chance that people would die she still wanted to show her support for the rebels. “We had demonstrated on the very day we shouldn’t have: on “Black Friday”.” That day there were so many killed in one of the neighborhoods that a rumor spread that Israeli soldiers were responsible for the slaughter.” (The Complete Persepolis, 39). Marji uses this bravery that she fosters at a very young age to help her excel in life.
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