To be timeless and placeless means to not be changed by the passing of time or location. There are many things that are capable of being both timeless and placeless. In order for a story to be timeless and placeless, it needs to be relatable no matter when or where it took place. The Epic of Gilgamesh and The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales are both great examples of stories that are both timeless and placeless.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of many stories that contain scenarios and themes that could be labeled as timeless and placeless. Life and death, friendship, power, and the difference between right and wrong are some of the major themes in this epic. In the epic, Gilgamesh was a power-seeking ruler who needed to humbleness. He was a selfish ruler. To try teaching Gilgamesh a lesson, the Goddess Aruru, created Enkidu who was supposed to be Gilgamesh’s match, but the plan backfired when the two of them began to develop a bond. They created a team by which they gained more power together. This scenario introduces a friendship that is timeless and placeless. Regardless of what is happening or taking place in the world, there will always be that one friendship that will occur out of nowhere, and it will usually be between the the ones who are the least expected to create a friendship. After Gilgamesh and Enkidu slayed Humbaba, it becomes forewarning that one of the two must die in return because of the chaos they caused. Enkidu is chosen to be killed, and Gilgamesh struggles with accepting his friend’s death. Enkidu’s death brings grievance into the story. Being introduced to death changes Gilgamesh’s character for the better. Gilgamesh becomes humbled by his first encounter with death. Grievance and humbleness are both themes that both represent the idea of being timeless and placeless. Even in today’s world, people struggle with losing a loved one. Using death as a humbling experience is something that is still seen in the society we live in today. In the beginning, Gilgamesh struggled with his character until meeting and losing Enkidu, which is a situation that is relatable to anyone today.
The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is another story that is relatable to today’s society. Just like in this story, we today have people such as soldiers who set out on missions and interact and share stories. Traveling and interacting with people are things that are timeless and placeless. This is because it happens anywhere in the world and is vital to life. Religion and relationships are two themes throughout The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales that are also timeless and placeless. A monk is a religion figure that is obedient and always religious. The monk in this story was the complete opposite. Instead of being religious and obedient, he was rebellious and tended to make his own decisions whether they were right or wrong. The nun in the story was the same way as well. This situation could be described as timeless and placeless because there are people today who put on fronts just because they may hold a position that require them to behave a certain way, but in reality, they do not act the way they are supposed to. These types of people could be labeled as hypocrites because they do not practice what they preach. Relationships and marriages are also themes in the story that stood out to be timeless and placeless. There was the Wife of Bath who believed that women should be able to marry more than once. She went through more than one marriage before finding the man that she actually loved. Many women today also struggle with finding the right man for them. Because of this, they go through many relationships until they are able to find a man. A situation like this is easy to come by today so therefore, it is another reason The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales can represent being timeless and placeless.
Both The Epic of Gilgamesh and The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales are timeless and placeless and can be easily compared to the world today. Although these stories were written a long time ago, they are both capable of being translated and applied to the current world we are living in. They show the way we work as humans, our characteristics, and behaviors which do not tend to change very often. The Epic of Gilgamesh gives us a look at life and death, love, and friendship. The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales gives us a look at human interaction and travel. Both stories show themes and situations that are timeless and placeless.