Socrates, in his discussion with Meno in “Plato’s Meno” gave us in heritage what is actually a Virtue. Meno said, “Well then, Socrates, virtue, as I take it, is when he, who desire the honorable, is able to provide it for himself; so the poet says, and I say too-“, (Plato, Meno), but after prolonged discussion, Socrates explains to Meno, “ Then, Meno, the conclusion is that virtue comes to the virtuous by the gift of God. But we shall never know the certain truth until, before asking how virtue is given, we enquire into the actual nature.
” (Dialogue, Plato, Meno). Hereby it is quite true that virtuous person is not the person who has the quality of being good as is propounded to be but virtue cannot be defined, it is an essence of goodness in souls that makes a person virtuous. Hereby in the Western Civilization we say he is virtuous because he has done some noble acts. What lies in shore of men is bound to happen like Aeneas, the hero of the Aeneid, says, “ sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive.
”(Virg. , Aen. 1. 1-7) Aeneid reflects live experience as though it were an object in a mirror. “There are two gates of Sleep, one said to be of horn, whereby the true shades pass with ease, the other all white ivory agleam without a flaw, and yet false dreams are sent through this one by the ghost to the upper world.
Anchises now, his last instructions given, took son and Sibyl and let them go by the Ivory Gate. ”(Virgil, Aeneid, Book VI, Lines 893-899).
Aeneas left Hades to go back up to the mortal world through the gates of lies, and suggests for the rest of the world, that all of his actions are false. Indeed, it means that the entire world since the founding of Rome is but a lie. From our inner self we are different but we have put the mask of selfishness and absurdity. Humans like Dante in Divine Comedy are all lost in the woods; Midway along the journey of life I woke to find myself in the dark wood, For I have wondered from the straight path (Dante Alighieri, Canto 1, 3. Divine Comedy).
We are all in this Western Civilization and at one point of time are asailed by beasts a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf; allegory of temptations towards sin and once fallen into it are unable to then find ourselves towrds “diritta via” ie salvation. Though Dante realized that he is ruining himself, and is falling into a “deep place, but he is not able to come out of the situation himself and he is taken out of it by Vigil who took him towards the pilgrim from Inferno means Hell, To purogato and finally to Paradiso where his Journey ends ie he meet divinity.
“so I searched that strange sight: I wished to see the way in which our human effigy suited the circle and found place in it”-(Dante, Paradiso 33, Divine Comedy). Western Civilization also believes in the choice to live full to his capacity and assume a place in heaven upon death, but when they are fallen to temptation, they suffer in Hell for eternity, but they do get a chance for repentance, allowing them to enter Purgatory, and finally witness God. This gives man inspiration, insight, imagination and abilities to understand or to grasp the realities (actualities/potentialities) around him.
Gilgamesh had both the divine as well as devilish qualities that what humans of Western Civilizations are. In the quest to fulfill our materialistic and sexual desires we are moving away from attaining the mutual satisfaction, thus according to me the Epic Gilgamesh is mirror to the Western Civilizations, whereby with the Scientific and Technological advancements we are moving in the pursuit of attaining the immortality but it is the immortality we cannot attain because death is destiny we all have to lead ourselves too.
The death is glorified even in Illiad and Aenies.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, The earliest Sumerian versions dated s early as the Third dynasty of Ur ie 2100 BC-2000 BC). Homer, probably 8th century BC Illiad Virgil, 19th B. C. E, Aeneid The Meno, 380, B. C. E, Plato Dante Alighieri, 1308-1321, The Divine Comedy